Idiots. I'm surrounded by *idiots*.

So I’m playing in an e-mail Diplomacy[sup]TM[/sup] game that a friend of mine is running. (As a note- if you aren’t familiar with the board game, most of this rant will likely be lost upon you.)

I’m playing Italy. This is deliberate stupidity on my part, I must admit. Being Italian, I have a natural affinity for the country; and knowing that it’s the weakest country in the game, I know I can write off all my losses to “Well, I was only playing Italy.”

Not this game. No, this game I’m writing off to “everyone else on the board is a fucking idiot.”

Let’s start with Austria. My good friend Austria. Italy and Austria are the two most natural allies on the board. Most analyses of the game state that the IA alliance is vital to the success of the two countries, and both need to take on Turkey ASAP in order to have any chance of surviving the mid-game.

So what does Austria do? Puts me on hold, suggests I “go west”, while he and Turkey go after Russia. He just handed Rumania to Turkey this first turn, giving Turkey two builds. And given Russia’s pathetic attempt at a defense, Turkey will likely take Moscow and St. Pete by the time Austria is able to get Warsaw (assuming the German doesn’t snatch it first).

So Austria has not only signed his own death warrant, he’s signed mine as well. And now he’s not bothering to reply to my messages. Fucking idiot.

Then there’s Russia. Apparently, he can’t be bothered to actually write to anyone. He started a war with Britain and Germany, got attacked seriously by Turkey and Austria, and rather than furiously writing eveyrone to try and split his enemies, he’s sulking. Fuck, I specifically told him that Austria and Turkey were ganging up on him, and gave him the specific orders they were turning in to do it with. Turkey left himself wide open for a counterstab, but Russia couldn’t be bothered.

Then there’s Germany. Fucking Germany. Doesn’t bother to turn in moves for two of his units the first turn, so he’s only getting one build this year. Idiot. But as I need someone to keep Austria from riding all over me (hey, he can’t attack Russia, and he’s not bothering to respond to my messages- who do you think he’s going to attack) I write to Germany to suggest working together.

Meanwhile, France comes to me and says, “Say, think we can work together on anything in the future?” Now, needless to say, the only think Italy and France can work together on is dismantling Germany. So I respond with, “Yeah, sure, let me know what you want” with the expectation that I could feed the information to Germany, y’know, help him out.

What does Germany do? Fucking copies my note to him and sends it to fucking France, saying, “Hey, Italy says you’re going to attack me. Is he telling me the truth?” WHAT THE FUCK? Do you think France is going to say, “Oh, yeah, I am. En garde.” No, he’s going to fucking say, “Oh, no, I’d never do that, not in a million years.” And so now Germany doesn’t trust me, France doesn’t trust me, and they’re going to go to war and there’s not a fucking thing I can do to save Germany’s ass.
So let’s take stock:
Austria: suicidal and planning on taking me down with him.
Russia: incompetent idiot who won’t talk to anyone.
Turkey: competent and needs to blow through my territory to win.
France: competent and knows I was trying to put one over on him.
Germany: incompetent fuckhead who destroyed any chance he had of me being able to tell him what France was doing.
Britain: competent ally of France who doesn’t bother to return my missives.
So let’s see: on the one side, all the competent players. On the other side, me with fuckwits as allies because none of the competent people wanted to work with me.
Why the fuck do I even play this game any more?

Didn’t the one chick say this last week on Survivor?

Oh, John, I’m sorry.

You’re so fucked.

Might I suggest crawling to Turkey on your already bruised Italian knees?

Yup. That’s diplomacy.

Hey John,

I love diplomacy but never get to play it anymore. In college, we played quite a bit with many people wanting to play.

After college, nothing.

I ran across PBM (play by mail – we didn’t have something called ‘email’ in those days) and thought I would be in heaven. Here are entire ‘magazines’ filled with games going on! Heaven!

Well, after a couple of years I gave up completely. I tried several different groups and the same result.

Typical game:

I try to get allies – appear to get allies – get stabbed by allies (usually more than one) AT THE SAME TIME AND IN EVERY SINGLE GAME. I did best in games where I assumed everyone is out to get me and play accordingly, but still get crushed early.

For example, played Italy 3 times. First time crushed by France/Austria almost immediately. Second time, crushed by France/Austria/Germany in first year. Third time went further but stabbed by Austria/Germany a bit later.

At first I thought I just sucked even though played good face-to-face. Thought I needed experience against the ‘big boys’ to learn.


I started getting more paranoid and set up and ran a zillion other games that were in the mag for the past two years. Turns out that most everyone in the game ALWAYS ALLIES with the same people no matter what the situation or country they play. ALWAYS! So, in reality, it was me and 2 other player groups with each player group 3x bigger than me AND me thinking the game is fair.

It just sucked, was no fun and I quit.

I even tried ‘Gunboat Games’ (no diplomacy since you don’t even know the name of the others) and, countries acted suspiciously. Turns out, SURPRISE, at the end of the games it was the same people/alliances…meaning they were cheating.

Is it any better now?


Man, that’s some rant.

I’m trying, man, I’m trying. I’ve sent him a letter pointing out how he can’t possibly win without eventually going through Austria, and that it’d be easier to do it now when the two of us outnumber A nearly two to one and while Russia is too fucked to vulch a spoil or two.

But I haven’t heard anything back, yet. That’s the worst part- sending off these intricate letters detailing out what I think and hope, and getting nada in return. Nada. Maybe, every once in a while, a single paragraph from someone.

I really need to play in a Dip game with more long-winded bastards. I feel idiotic writing two page discussions of possibilities and strategies and getting “yeah, sure” in response. Ah, for the glory days of Maeglin’s Dip games (bastard dropped the ball) when lno and I wrote reams of discussion back and forth.
BlinkingDuck- not sure. Go to the “DipPouch” and sign up (do a yahoo search on DipPouch to find it), and you can get into pick-up games, and since there are so many players and it’s all random, it’s unlikely that you’ll get in that situation. But not impossible. I played one DipPouch game and did quite well as Italy until a serious misunderstanding of the rules (“What do you mean any attack on a support cuts it? Don’t you have to dislodge to cut support? No? Fuck!”) and a serious misplay by Austria (standard newbie problem- can’t go too long without stabbing for the sake of stabbing, something I used to do and now kick myself for).

You guys need Cat23. It’s a group of several hundred dip players. I run games on it (and play games on it) all the time.

It’s at You’ll need to sign up for the NGame list to get new game announcements.

There’s no escape.

You know you love it.

And damn am I happy we never finished the SDMB games. I had a really good Italy going in one, but my southern French territories were being grotesquely violated in another.

Dare I suggest you go into rabid “I’m going to fuck you all up” mode? Be unpredictable! Be rash! If you can’t form a decent alliance, piss them off until one of them begs you to stop and team up!

This last piece of advice is brought to you by a Diplomacy newbie who likes to pretend she isn’t a newbie.

Heh. Diplomacy - or - How to lie, cheat, and betray for fun-n-profit.

Gotta love it, and you’re so screwed, John.

Newbie, she says.

After the way you handed me my head in that game?

Newbie, FAH!

If that game had kept on, you were one turn away from getting great opportunities to hand me my ass on the same plate.

But thanks for the newbie status praise, JC. The only reason I stabbed you was because I didn’t trust you. :slight_smile:

Pucette the Paranoid Diplomacy Player

If you put TANG[sup]TM[/sup] crystals directly on our tongue it tickles.

[sub]As you were.[/sub]

Um, that’s “your tongue.”
Aw, fuck, nevermind.

Ah, sweet Diplomacy. I’d never played before Maeglin’s game, and we somehow let Russia spin out of control before I fully understood the rules. Since I was Germany, this was a major problem. Austria had been utterly crushed early on by an unholy alliance of myself, Italy (the lovely-yet-merciless Pucette), and Turkey.

Austria collapsed like a popped balloon.

Then, not paying attention, we let Russia grab the upper hand in a major way. Soon, he owned Scandinavia, Denmark, a good chunk of England, and was knocking on the door to Germany and France.

In one brutal, elegant thrust, Pucette and I cemented our alliance with a beautiful feint and coup-de-grace, crippling Russia forever.

I’m still a bit sullen that we weren’t able to finish pulping Russia. :slight_smile:

Whoa, let’s back up there.

The “bastard” was unemployed, bereft of an internet connection, and desperately looking for a job. If I hadn’t been worried about where I was going to come up with rent and food money, I suppose I would have given more time to diplomacy.


None of the above are true anymore. And several veterans have posted already on this thread.

Who’s up for another round?

I would like to moderate only one this time, and perhaps play in one as well.


Oops, it was Russia that was allied with us to smash Austria like a melon under a freight train, not Turkey.

There are days I wonder why I’m addicted to the SDMB and then there are days when someone posts a Pit rant about Dip and it all becomes clear again. :slight_smile:

Dip’s an odd game in a way, you’d think if some of the players were dipshits it would make winning easier, but in my experience the best games are where all the players are competent… just not quite as compentent as you. The game is very sensitive to players failing to be fully involved; one player not sending in orders can screw it up for everyone else.

Some years ago I was involved in running a PBM company that did Dip as one of the games. Eventually we gave it up as we were getting too many unsatisfactory games – people dropping out, failing to send orders, or just being incompetent jerks.

If you hadn’t stated earlier that Germany had failed to put in orders I might’ve been tempted to consider this evil cunning rather than stupidity. Consider Germany’s motives: France won’t trust you, France might not carry through on what was planned since G might block it, and it might open the possibility for a dialogue between G and F since G can claim his sympathies obviously lie with F and not Italy. All of these are good things for Germany. 'Course if he’s the kind of putz that fails to put in orders then all it probably does is piss Italy off and alert France to the fact that his neighbour is a moron. :slight_smile:

Ewww… competent Turkey below an incompetent Russia… solid Anglo-French alliance… (and if England won’t even return mail that’s a particularly bad sign, no? A strong Anglo-French alliance can happily carry the game. Has E’s fleet threatened the Med, or are they going through Russia?)… useless Germany and Austria…
Yep, I agree with your analysis; you’re poked. I’d suggest considering african colonies. :wink:

Maeglin- 'twas meant in jest. My apologies if it didn’t come off that way; I do understand why you couldn’t keep things running.

And if there’s talk of more games, I’m up for it. I almost rode Germany’s coat-tails to a second place last time.

OK, Maeglin. I’ll take that challenge.

As I’ve mentioned to John (one JC to another) I’ll run a SDMB game through Cat23.

John gets first dibs on country. It’s his rant, after all.

Beyond that, contact me.

And get to know Cat23. It’s your friend.

How’s that, folks? Can I see some love here or what?