Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 71 – Interview with Oliver Lugg, Diplomacy Youtuber extraordinaire 

Venue: Malt, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner: House malt lager

Amby – Hither and Yon shiraz from the McLaren Vale, and later the House malt lager


The guys interview Oliver Lugg, a Diplomacy loving guy who has created an awesome Youtube video about the game. They also discuss stupid greedy vs smart gains, the Western Europe 1300 variant and Amby’s Diplomacy variant development plans.

Malt, BrisbaneIntro & news

  • The guys are recording at Malt, a serious proper bar. Kaner quickly picks on Amby’s handwriting. Then they get onto drinks. Amby laments a little Covid weight gain (0 mins 10 secs)

Interview with Oliver Lugg: Diplomacy Youtuber extraordinaire

  • The guys give a full disclosure that the interview with Oliver Lugg is being recorded after they actually catch up (4 mins)
  • Kaner & Amby welcome Oliver to the show about the quality of his Youtube video on Diplomacy – for podcast listeners, press pause now and watch the video for context: (7 mins)

  • Amby asks Oliver how he got into the game (7 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner asks about within the video whether Oliver was in a scene in the video playing the game (12 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby brings up whether there was a mathematical thread running through the video (13 mins 35 secs)
  • Amby asks about the nature of the game not being like chess (15 mins 40 secs)
  • Being an Australian who has lived in the UK, Amby asks a little about the Britishness of the video (17 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby asks about how much time was needed to pull the video together (20 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about how Oliver came across the 2012 online championship – for podcast listeners, you can listen to our interview with some of the final players in episode 5 (22 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner asks about Oliver’s 5 rules and what is his favorite rules when it comes to cognitive biases (25 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner asks about AI and manipulative behavior (28 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby asks Oliver about famous individuals who played the game, and where he got his research from (31 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks about Oliver’s perspectives on real world events and the nature of Diplomacy skills being played out (36 mins)
  • They talk about the nature of loss aversion (37 mins)
  • Amby asks Oliver about his interests in psychology (38 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby asks about Oliver’s plans for playing the game in the future. Amby discusses the London Diplomacy Club and also previous interviewee Garry Sturley and his plans for a Diplomacy Tour of Britain (40 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner reflects on the use of Risk pieces in the video. Amby asks about Oliver’s future creative endeavors. Oliver discusses his music and singing, listen on his Youtube channel (44 mins)
  • The guys wrap up the interview with Oliver (47 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys return and discuss what they enjoyed about Oliver’s Diplomacy video (47 mins 45 secs)
  • They talk about Risk (53 mins 30 secs)

Presidential campaign update

  • Amby asks Kaner how his election campaign is going. The guys also give a shout out to Hal Schild, Brother Bored and Bryan Pravel, all new Patreon supporters of the show (55 mins)

Stupid greedy vs smart gains

  • Amby admits he’s in a Diplomacy slump with his gameplay (58 mins)
  • He was riding high early in the year, but hasn’t been following his own advice (1 hr)
  • He got back in with his Fake NewsLeak Interference Democalypse game where he failed to appreciate what was going on in the board, and put too much trust in allies (1 hr 1 mins)
  • Kaner then rubs Amby’s nose in another game, A Humble Low Stakes Match where Amby had players piled onto him after being the first stabbing (1 hr 4 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby acknowledges maybe he’s not such a great player and just had a big win (1 hr 7 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys then go onto to discuss that they’ve worked out they’re in two of the same anonymous games, but don’t know who is who (1 hr 8 mins 20 secs)

Around the grounds

  • In doing so Kaner & Amby transition to an Around the grounds segment, starting with the Western Europe 1300 game they’re in Western Quintuple (1 hr 9 mins)
  • Western Europe 1300 Diplomacy variantThey discuss the variant map itself first for Western Europe 1300, a 5 player game with England, France, Burgundy (same as the variant Hundred) but adding in Aragon and Castile. The map was developed by Matthew Medeiros and brought to online game play by Fake Al and Oliver Auth (1 hr 10 mins)
  • The guys then start discussing how they’re going, being mindful it is anonymous and they’re both in it. To do so they examine each of the five players’ positions (1 hr 13 mins 45 secs)
  • They then move onto their Scottish Clan Wars game, What’s Under your Kilt. They discuss how the gameplay in this variant map tends to be more fighting north-south, as opposed to east-west (1 hr 23 mins)
  • They agree to talk about this game a little further on, as its still pretty early days in this game (1 hr 25 mins 45 secs)

New Diplomacy app: Diplicity

  • Kaner has discovered a new Android app for lovers of the game called Diplicity – search for it wherever you download your apps from (1 hr 26 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby discusses the wonderful aesthetics of the app and particularly the maps (1 hr 28 mins 20 secs)
  • They go onto discuss a bucketload of variants available, including two they’ve never seen: Twenty Twenty and a 5 player Vietnam War variant set in 1955 (1 hr 30 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner loves the autogenerator for the titles of games (1 hr 35 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss how it may be different to the Conspiracy app where many players would go into CD, impacting the gameplay for hardcore players (1 hr 37 mins)

Amby’s Diplomacy holiday plans

  • Amby is heading off for a week’s holiday. He discusses his plan to do some Diplomacy variant development (1 hr 38 mins)
  • The first one he’ll focus on is a Classic Standing Armies variant. But Amby will implement Kaner’s suggestion for an initial build phase so Italy can build two fleets to take Tunis (1 hr 40 mins)
  • His second variant idea is really dependent on the coding skills of a Diplomacy loving developer. Based on some ideas from Kaner, Amby is planning a Black Death variant. Basically a Europa Renovatio map modified back in time approximately 100 years to the starting period of the Black Death  (1 hr 43 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby goes onto discuss how he plans to keep the board generally balanced, similar to Europa Renovatio (1 hr 48 mins)
  • He goes onto discuss how the randomness of the hurricane in the Pirates variant (a non playing player who moves and spawns randomly) could be bumped up to multiple units as the Black Death (1 hr 50 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner gives his suggestion about plague spawning (1 hr 52 mins 35 secs)
  • Kaner recommends Amby plug into tobi1’s coding skills instead of pushing for Oli’s time (2 hr 0 mins 50 secs)
  • They discuss what the image should be for the Black Death. Kaner suggests you do a Google images search for Hieronymus Bosch to give an idea of what he has in mind (2 hr 2 mins 50 secs)
  • The guys start wrapping up the show (2 hrs 5 mins 45 secs)

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.


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