Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 124 – Catch up interview with Umbletheheap & a smidge of Christmas

Venue: Embassy Hotel, Alice and Red Queen Gin, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Ken:  Black Haze stout infused with egg nog, Sundance Surprise, Ritual and Ceremonies
Gavin: Black Hops Goat hazy IPA, Buffalo Trace on the rocks, barrel aged Negroni

After almost 4 years the guys bring back creator and publisher of the Diplomacy Briefing, Umbletheheap, to see where the weekly email newsletter is at and where it’s going. Plus we award the end of year Best Player award between each other, the new South of Sahara variant and progress on the Big Stick Diplomacy variant.


  • The guys open the show and discuss their drinks and initial venue which they last visited in episode 14. They discuss why Russia doesn’t open Warsaw to Silesia more often. (0 mins 15 secs)

Interview with Umbletheheap

  • The guys start introducing their interview with Umbletheheap, creator and publisher of the Diplomacy Briefing (6 mins 15 secs)
  • Umble gives a quick overview about what the Diplomacy Briefing is and its initial beginning (8 mins)
  • He discusses the increasing role of many other great people contributing to the Briefing (10 mins 15 secs)
  • Gavin asks about the professionalisation of the newsletter (14 mins 10 secs)
  • Umble discusses his role in Ministry as a pastor yet being someone who loves the game Diplomacy which has a certain reputation (17 mins 45 secs)
  • They discuss the role of AI when assisting the Briefing (26 mins)
  • Gavin gives a shout out for anyone listening to the show who wants to step up, give back to the community and be recognised for their work re-using podcast conten in other areas eg Youtube (31 mins)
  • Umble shares two secrets, one on starting the Briefing and getting Captainmeme back into the game (32 mins)
  • He discusses winding things back a bit, while still ensuring the Briefing will keep on going (39 mins)
  • Umble discusses old Diplomacy zines and how in the past it impacted on relationships (44 mins)
  • He finishes up by discussing their Diplomacy awards coming up (47 mins)
  • The guys return – this time in a new venue – and discuss the interview (52 mins)

Diplomacy chat

  • They discuss the new venue – an 80’s rock bar called Alice – and their drinks (57 mins 30 secs)
  • Some 80’s pop culture banter (59 mins)
  • Ken awards the trophy between the two of them on who is The Better vDip player, with Ken still beating Gavin (1 hr 0 mins 40 secs)

New variant – South of Sahara

  • The guys discuss the latest new variant on vDip “South of Sahara“, created by David E Cohen and brought to vDip by Enriador and Tobias Florin (1 hr 3 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss this new 5 player variant. Gavin shares a conversation with David about the variant and some of his new upcoming variants (1 hr 5 mins)
  • Ken shares a story about transforming units in Known World 901 and they agree to playing a South of Sahara game together (1 hr 12 mins 30 secs)
  • Due to the very dark lighting they decide to switch drinking venues (1 hr 15 mins)

Variant development update: Big Stick Diplomacy

  • The guys have moved to Red Queen Gin and begin planning further their Big Stick Diplomacy variant (1 hr 15 mins 45 secs)
  • Ken gives Gavin a geographic history lesson (1 hr 41 mins)

Henry Kissinger update

  • The freaky Henry Kissinger moment (1 hr 47 mins)

Bronze Age Diplomacy play testing

  • Gavin bought into this variant being play tested. You can view the game at vDiplomacy with the opening positions viewed on the variant page (1 hr 54 mins 30 secs)
  • He goes on to discuss what he felt coming towards the end game and why as a variant creator he felt the need to stab his long term ally (1 hr 57 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys start wrappin up the show, but have a mea culpa for our Patreon supporters. Gavin’s slightly misplaced the recording from last episode and is looking for it. It’ll come out soon (2 hrs 7 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 pay off the audio equipment… or buy the guys a drink, 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 124 – Catch up interview with Umbletheheap & a smidge of Christmas”

  1. Really great interview – it’s nice to hear the gossip that’s even been kept secret from us other Briefing staffers! Love the new bar too – can’t go wrong with the music of Meatloaf. Keep up the good work guys!

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