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?