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19Episodes
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The podcast about playing the online game Diplomacy and its variants. Visit DiplomacyGames.com for more info.

Episodes

The guys keep the drinking going and the Dip talk rolling with variant ideas and interview Alex Ronke/nopunin10did from Play Dip, creator of the 1812 Overture and Dissolution variants and talk exciting development news.

Intro

  • The penny drops for Amby after Kaner's initial rambling start to the podcast  (15 secs)
  • They provide an intro about the interview of this episode with Alex Ronke, who goes by the pseudonym on PlayDip of nopunin10did (3 mins)
  • But before that the guys go on a tangent about Game of Thrones and RUFFHAUS' naming of various vDip players' equivalent if they were GoT characters, and ask him to do an update of Dip players and GoT characters  (4 mins)
  • They talk about whether they should make an effort to go to a face-to-face tournament in Australia later this year (8 mins)
  • Amby starts talking Bourse, even though the discussion is a little dated now due to the time delay between recording and getting the podcast out. Kaner says he's a slack bastard for NMRing (10 mins 30 secs)
  • Then its on to discussion about the actual map of Known World 901 and Amby hearing even more nations on the map and their SC's mentioned in the podcast "The Lesser Bonapartes" and the real life expansion of Axum and also Samarkand capital of the Timurid empire. Check out Google Images to see what Samarkand looks like (13 mins)

Variant ideas

  • Amby's got into another podcast called "Our Fake History" which had an episode on Ninjas which got him thinking about a new variant set on a modified Sengoku map called "Ninjas vs Samurai." (23 mins)
  • Kaner gets taken in by a fake concert poster (34 mins)
  • Amby then starts discussing his idea of a variant Century series, where the map is based on real life borders every 100 years eg building on the 901 map, having a 1001 map, a 1101 map etc. Kaner discusses how he has a program that shows this for every six months. But you can also get a feel oft this on Youtube (36 mins)
  • Kaner briefly discusses how he wants to make a variant based on the Khmer Empire in southeast Asia (38 mins)
  • The guys talk about the release of the Napoleonic variant at the Russian site, Diplomail. They talk about the challenge of a map with no neutral SCs. Kaner reckons if the variant was made available elsewhere it would get a good following. They guys discuss the play test of the map on the Diplomail dev server - Kaner as Naples NMR'ed and Amby played the Ottomans. Sweden won the game - congrats to Anglichanka who soloed (39 mins) 
  • Amby then start talking about a PlayDip play by forum game "Dissolution" that he's currently playing and how he's going (45 mins)

Interview with Alex Ronke / nopunin10did from PlayDip

  • The guys introduce our interview. Alex who goes by the screen name nopunin10did at PlayDip has created both the Dissolution and 1812 Overture variants as well as helping out Baron von Powell on 1900 and The Two Towers. The guys foreshadow that there's some really exciting stuff toward the end of the interview  (51 mins)
  • Alex starts by giving a little background about his Dip journey and how Baron von Powell's 1900 got him into PlayDip variants (52 mins)
  • He describes how he likes turning on and off various PlayDip rules, especially the Age of Empires option and Fog of War (54 mins 30 secs)
  • He goes on to discuss his views on what is the greatest Dip variant (56 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks Alex about explaining the Dissolution variant, how non-playing characters work and we take a flashback to the 1990's (59 mins)
  • Alex goes on to explain that the game Amby is in is the first time the variant has been played (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Amby asks about what possible changes to the map or rules may be incorporated into the variant after its first run (1 hr 15 mins)
  • Alex talks about the system he put in place for a simulated foreign relations grid vs a more complicated system of favors and Diplomacy points for non-player characters (1 hr 18 mins)
  • Alex explains what he has learnt along the way when it comes to variant creation and discusses 1812 Overture and balance (1 hr 23 mins)
  • Amby asks about the GMing role of a game and what time commitment is needed (1 hr 31 mins)
  • Apologies for an audio quality breakup around 41 mins 45 secs, but it only takes a moment to pass
  • Amby gives Alex a big thumbs up on the graphical quality of Alex's maps and asks about automating any of his variants (1 hr 35 mins 30 secs)
  • Then Alex drops a bomb shell on his side project plans for moving 1900 to the vDip/webDip platform and improving the way the core php code works for Diplomacy so coding hacks for variants aren't the default way of solving problems (1 hr 36 mins)
  • He gives an example of how be cleaning up the code it will allow rules initially intended for variants to be implemented, such as Ancient Mediterranean's rules around the Balearic Islands (1 hr 43 mins)
  • Alex discusses how he's already been talking to Oli about how he may be able to contribute to vDip with his coding improvements (1 hr 48 mins)
  • Kaner discusses Alex's plans to change the core code to be more user friendly and really likes his thought processes with variant development. Plus he's been talking to Oli  (1 hr 50 mins)
  • The guys then start wrapping things up and introduce the idea of listeners shouting a round of drinks rather than rating and reviewing the podcast (1 hr 52 mins)

Venue: Sonny's House of Blues, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Young Henry's Natural Lager from New South Wales
Amby - El Hurricane pinot noir from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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In this episode we take a deep dive into webDiplomacy and also one of its variants, the Ancient Med.

  • The guys celebrate the conclusion of the Diplomacy World Cup with a webDip player - Demon Overlord - coming in 3rd (30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how one of the guys at webDiplomacy has created a pilot "Diplomacy - the Game Show". Amby and Kaner give their thoughts on it and some possible tweaks to improve it further (3 mins 55 secs)
  • The guys pose the question why more women don't play Diplomacy (7 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner discusses the backlog of Mod issues at vDiplomacy and has discovered he's now an Admin. He talks about what magical powers he now has (9 mins 40 secs)

Interview with zultar, co-owner of webDiplomacy

  • The guys talk about how they both started out at webDip when they started playing web based Diplomacy (13 mins 30 secs)
  • After a bit of a false start Kaner kicks the interview off properly (16 mins 30 secs)
  • Zultar explains when he first joined webDip as a player and his role as co-owner with Kestas (17 mins)
  • He goes on to give a summary about webDiplomacy (19 mins)
  • The guys explore with zultar about the process for bringing variants to webDip and what happened with the attempt to bring Known World 901 across. He also touches on how webDip differs from vDip, and how the webDip code has been picked up and used on other Diplomacy sites (23 mins)
  • Discussion turns to the preference by webDip players to generally stick with Classic games (25 mins)
  • Amby shares his thoughts on playing live games at webDip (26 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner explores with zultar how the mod system works at webDip (28 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner asks zultar about how much he likes getting lots of +1's (30 mins)
  • Zultar talks a little around how they address meta-accounting and multi-accounting (32 mins)
  • Kaner asks about the forum and what happens when things get too heated in discussions (33 mins)
  • Zultar discusses his favorite variant at vDip but why it probably won't be coming to webDip  (37 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby asks about the Mafia culture on webDip and if there's any connection to the actual game Diplomacy (39 mins)
  • Zultar gives his view about any future merge between webDip and vDip (41 mins)
  • Zultar discusses what's coming down the pipeline as a result of webDip's donation drive to make a range of improvements to the site (45 mins 40 secs)
  • Audio quality warning - a flakey bit of the recording, sorry lasts for about 45 seconds (46 mins)
  • Zultar describes his goal for webDip and then goes on to discuss all the updates and improvements coming up at webDip (47 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about the process followed at webDip to prioritize the proposed features (52 mins)
  • Kaner asks zultar about an interesting story around his experience as a mod (53 mins 30 secs)
  • Following the interview the guys share their thoughts on what they learnt and go off on a little Fog of War tangent (55 mins)
  • Kaner goes on to discuss the webDip forum while Amby discusses how Kaner has previously talked about getting a different political view of the world from the webDip forum (1 hr 2 mins)
  • Amby discusses a theory around whether Putin's minions have penetrated the webDip forum to create friction within the US. He goes on to reference Dan Carlin's "Common Sense" podcast around this (1 hr 5 mins)

The Ancient Mediterranean variant

  • The guys discuss how the Ancient Med is one of the few variants available at webDip, and also at vDip (1 hr 7 mins)
  • Amby talks about why he likes this variant, and discusses he recently played a game of it (Gunboat Pizza) over at webDip as Carthage.  The variant sees Rome face off against Greece, Persia, Egypt and Carthage. The variant was designed by Don Hessong (1 hr 8 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner goes onto explain to Amby how to see which territories are connected in any php Dip game (1 hr 11 mins)
  • Amby particularly likes the territory connections for this map, saying it reminds him a lot of Indians of the Great Lakes (1 hr 15 mins)
  • The game was drawn between Poohbelly, Captain Tomorrow and song. Well done to them with Amby being eliminated due to poor timing and as a result getting involved in too many fights. Amby explains his bold plan of crippling Rome quickly and then turning his units on Egypt, but it didn't work out (1 hr 17 mins)
  • Amby gets excited discussing the game and knocks over his wine (1 hr 21 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys wrap things up as Amby's iPad (which had just had wine spilled on it) goes crazy (1 hr 23 mins)

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

Venue: Sonny's House of Blues, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Young Henry's Natural Lager from New South Wales
  • Amby - El Hurricane pinot noir from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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After a full month and a half between episodes Kaner and Amby catch up on their games, with a deep dive into PlayDip's forum game "Dissolution" - a variant about the breakup of the Soviet Union.

  • The guys kick things off by acknowledging YouCan'tHandleTheTruth's recent efforts to still get orders in for his game despite having a heart attack! Hope he recovers quickly (30 secs)
  • Kaner fills listeners in about Mrs Kaner's European trip (2 mins 45 secs)
  • Correction from Episode 15 about Amby's personal experience on PlayDip. Super_Dipsy provides his feedback on Amby's experience (reproduced below.) Amby also explains how he still is making the odd mistake in submitting orders on PlayDip.  Super_Dipsy has provided the following screenshots to show how to not screw up as much as Amby originally did - go to the show notes at DiplomacyGames.com for these.
  • Kaner and Amby discuss strategy around last minute submission of orders and how it can blow up in your face (13 mins)
  • Super_Dipsy is rating the podcast on iTunes... and why you should too! (15 mins 45 secs)
  • We recently got an email from David who said he felt we have too much background noise on the podcast. Kaner explains the rationale for why we record in a pub, while Amby discusses how some players like the idea of recording in a pub. The guys ask what do you think? (16 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner brings up a recent message from Dr Recommended about how the podcast is helping educate his son (18 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby talks about the little thrill he gets when someone emails or comments about the podcast (22 mins 15 secs)

Around the grounds

Bourse

  • The guys kick off discussions about the Bourse game at vDip and how things have moved on since the last podcast update, including his latest flanking strategy against Leif (playing as Axum) (24 mins)
  • Amby discusses how YouCan'tHandleTheTruth is giving him the shits with his territory painting next to his vacant SC's (29 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner provides the one an only crappy joke of the episode (31 mins)
  • Kaner shares a little Autumn 924 insight from Captainmeme about the board and how that creates difficulty for his bourse buy for that season (32 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses who is the king cool kid in the Bourse, Kaner flames Amby's position in Bourse. Amby asks whether some players are no longer actively playing the Bourse (34 mins)
  • Kaner explains his thinking on how the next Bourse game should be run to help iron out some of the issues with this game and reflects on Captainmeme's suggestions on how the Bourse game  (35 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about what the end-game plan is for this Bourse game (39 mins 30 secs)

Known World 901 tournament

  • The guys move onto the 901 Known World tournament that has progressed onto Game 5 and 6 - a tournament comprising 15 games where everyone tries playing every country on the board (41 mins)
  • Kaner provides his view on Game 3 and turns the blow torch on Amby, much to his chagrin - check the map history to understand the discussion (42 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys get into a bit of a verbal bitch fight over their gameplay against each other (49 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby congratulates Kaner for being part of the 5 way draw  57 45
  • Amby discusses a recent Youtube video that mentions a number generally unknown countries in 901 (eg Srivijaya, Axum etc) are mentioned in an interesting speedy viral Youtube video called History of the entire world I guess... word of advice from Amby, the first 50 secs are a bit boring but it ramps up from there (58 mins)
  • Amby's been eliminated in an Ancient Mediterranean game at webDip, but as its still going and its anonymous he'll hold off on discussing until the next episode. He then touches on the Online Diplomacy Championship at PlayDip (59 mins 30 secs)

Dissolution: Play-by-Forum game at PlayDip

  • Amby goes on to discuss how he's recently started playing his first Forum game at PlayDip. Dissolution is based on the collapse of the Soviet Union and has many, many complicated rules. Amby was invited to sub into the game by nopunin10did as the variant developer after a player (Egypt) had to leave due to real life commitments. He outlines the countries in the game (60 mins)
  • He goes onto explain how there's 5 non-playing nuclear players and how they move and react based on favors accumulated by real players and what they do on the board through bidding (1 hr 02 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby then goes onto explain how unlike normal Diplomacy with just navies and armies, Dissolution also has airwings... which are more like air bases rather than a bunch of aircraft. He then goes onto explain how they can drop paratroopers and how the rules apply when using one or multiple airwings (1 hr 6 mins 40 secs)
  • He explains how the player who left gave Amby a handover, and how it aligned with what his long-term - but possibly backstabbing ally - Ethiopia said. Ethiopia went on in Amby's first season to stab him even more than he'd done to the former Egypt (1 hr 9 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner has trouble getting his head around how the rules of the game work (1 hr 12 mins)
  • Amby explains how its a challenging variant and particularly hard coming in mid-game, but makes more sense after playing it for a while (1 hr 13 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby tries to help Kaner understand airwings by giving a description of how it could work if the same rules applied to a Classic Diplomacy map. Amby tells Kaner "No, no, no" a lot (1 hr 14 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner at last gets it! (1 hr 17 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby says he'll explain the game a little more in a future episode. Kaner asks listeners to let them know whether they think Amby was right or Kaner was right, before the guys wrap it all up (1 hr 18 mins)

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out. Super_Dipsy is.... so why aren't you?

Venue: Mr Edward's Ale House, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Mountain Goat "Crazy Mountain" special IPA  from Victoria
  • Amby - Fat Fish shiraz from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

00:0000:00
Play Now

Kaner and Amby get talking about playing metagaming arseholes, live Diplomacy games online, the variant Colonial Diplomacy, possible variant ideas and get more entertaining after many more drinks

  • This episode is a back-to-back recording again at the Breakfast Creek Hotel. Amby pays homage to Aussie rock band "Midnight Oil" and their lyric about the pub in the song Dreamworld, and their disappoint in the political career of its lead singer (Peter Garrett)  (20 secs)

Metagaming arseholes 

  • Kaner gets hot under the collar about his recent experience with metagamers: people who come into a game with a preconceived alliance and will not vary from it (2 mins 30 secs)
  • The game was the very last to be played Known World 901 game at WebDiplomacy (2 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner explains the difference between metagaming and multi-accounting. He talks about a useful thread on webDip that discusses this (4 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner blows off some more steam, and then explains what happened to the game after the metagaming was discovered (7 mins 45 secs)

Variant and Lab talk

  • Kaner goes a little off topic and discusses a new variant being put together by David E. Cohen, the creator of Known World 901 (8 mins 45 secs)
  • Book by David Elliot CohenAmby discusses his recent holiday and a surprising spotting of a book written by a David Elliot Cohen - is it the same guy? (9 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner talks about other great combined maps done by David E. Cohen, combining the Maharajah and Spice Islands maps (11 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses how Flame is setting up Pirates on the Lab so he can correct some of the issues players have raised about the variant (12 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner talks about how he'd like to see the minor power element of the Versailles variant brought into Pirates (14 mins 15 secs)
  • Mrs Kaner is going soon to France. Kaner discusses his wife's French pronunciation skills (14 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses his other variant creation plans and ideas after reading a Theodore Roosevelt biography that touches on possible conflicts that never occured and how it'd make a fun variant. Basically it would encompass the Venezuelan crisis of 1902-03 where America and Germany could have come to war. Similar potential conflict almost happened over Morocco (15 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby keeps the ball rolling talking about another variant idea after listening to two podcasts (12 Byzantine Rulers and The History of Rome) about the tetrarchy of the Roman Empire when it was governed by four separate emperors. A system that eventually brought them into conflict (19 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner discusses his interest in the Byzantium Empire and the Black Death (21 mins 50 secs)

Back to Metagaming

  • The guys talk about whether an aspect of metagaming is acceptable based on your prior experience against a player (23 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner talks about players that rub him the wrong way (27 mins)
  • Amby explores a situation whether metagaming could be done in a potentially positive way  (29 mins)
  • Kaner flows off the discussion with a story about his first Diplomacy game against his father and brother (31 mins 40 secs)

What the Dr Recommended update - part 2 of the Top 100 at WebDiplomacy

  • The guys follow on from episode 14 and attempt to pronounce player names from #20 to #50 (33 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby discusses how he's been thinking about playing an Ancient Mediterranean game on WebDip (38 mins 30 secs)

Live games

  • Amby does another holiday flashback and how with a bit of spare time on his hands, played a live Classic game at webDip (38 mins 55 secs)
  • Amby discusses this was his first ever live game, although he'd tried to get this happening once before on the basis of having a Drunk Diplomacy game (where all players have been drinking) (40 mins)
  • With so many players at webDip its a lot easier to get a live game going, the same with PlayDip (40 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby drew Russia and explains why he likes playing Russia in Classic (and hates Austria and Italy). Kaner also gives his views on which countries he likes playing in Classic (41 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby expected a 45 minute game, but found out that was not the case! (42 mins)
  • He talks about the challenge in a live game of competing real life demands that get in the way of preparing and submitting orders (43 mins)
  • Amby explains he had a lot of fun playing a live game. cspieker as Turkey won with Amby coming second (43 mins 45 secs)
  • The game used the draw size scoring system. Amby explains he has no idea how that works, or sum of squares. The guys talk about how they need to get someone from webDip on to explain it without too much highbrow maths. Amby asks Kaner to organise zulta or another informed webDip person on (45 mins)
  • Back to the live game. Amby explains how he was doing alright as Russia but Turkey was starting to make moves his way. One of the big problems was the amount of CDing in the game, although generally replacements popped up really quickly (46 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby explains his gameplay to avoid attacking Austria and blitzed Scandanavia and started taking SCs off England. Only for Austria to start attacking Amby, quickly followed by Germany doing the same. Amby explains his attempt to send gunboat messages of peace out to England failed. Kaner asks about Germany's rapid rise followed by rapid decline (48 mins 55 secs)
  • Once it became very clear to Amby he wasn't going to win, he set himself some personal goals, including Russia making its way to the Iberian peninsula. The guys then talk about their future plans on playing more live Dip games (51 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner talks about the importance of hitting the refresh button in live games (55 mins 45 secs)

The guys discuss their games

  • Kaner briefly touches on his Sengoku tournament situation (57 mins)
  • Amby similarly discusses briefly his games: Bourse, WW2 and Indians of the Great Lakes (57 mins 30 secs)

The Colonial Diplomacy variant

  • Amby quickly segues into a game of Colonial Diplomacy he recently finished (58 mins 40 secs)
  • He describes how he hasn't played it for a couple of years. Kaner says the Trans-Siberian railway and Suez canal rules have been coded into the game (59 mins)
  • The guys give a shout out to those who brought the Colonial variant to life: Peter Hawes for designing the game,  Oliver Auth for the php coding and Tobias Florin for the Trans-Siberian railway and Suez canal coding functionality (1 hour 00 mins 00 secs)
  • They talk about how the special rules work for the Suez canal and the Trans-Siberian railway. That said in the podcast the guys totally forgot to mention the special rule for Hong Kong: it counts as an SC if occupied by any country except China, in which case its considered a non-SC territory (1 hr 1 mins)
  • The guys get increasingly pissy as they move onto drink number six... and it starts showing on Amby's memory of the game (1 hr 03 mins)
  • Amby does however remember his overall strategy playing as Japan and what he was trying to achieve and how he managed relationships with other players (1 hr 4 mins 40 secs)
  • Congrats to Matticus13 who won as China with Amby coming second (1 hr 6 mins)
  • Amby discusses his mid-game plans and how we tried sending gunboat messages of peace to Holland and France (1 hr 7 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby describes how it was a really fun variant and would be interested in playing again as another player (1 hr 9 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks Amby's thoughts on naval vs land based warfare in the variant (1 hr 11 mins)
  • After some initial pissy rambling, Amby reads some of the End of Game statements to explain the players' thoughts on this game and old-man flash backs from Amby about the fall of the Berlin Wall (1 hr 13 mins 15 secs)
  • We then get onto the EoG statement from England, the winner of the game (1 hr 18 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby discusses the fortress nature of Singapore as an SC (1 hr 20 mins)
  • After Kaner's dismal attempt at a joke, Amby slips in a drunken joke or two (1 hr 22 mins 40 secs)
  • After being at the pub for over 4 hours, the guys acknowledge this is a good time to wrap things up before it gets messy, before suggesting listeners send their best jokes by PMing or sending a comment (1 hr 26 mins)

Venue: Breakfast Creek Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Carlton Draft and XXXX "off the wood"
  • Amby - Riddoch cabernet sauvignon from the Coonawarra, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

00:0000:00
Play Now

Kaner and Amby discuss the Calhamer estate auction of original Diplomacy paraphernalia, other news and game updates before interviewing Super_Dipsy and Morg from PlayDiplomacy before Amby gives his final thoughts on PlayDip after his exposure during his Online Diplomacy Championship game. Apologies in advance, this is our longest podcast yet at around 2 hours 15 mins!

Latest news

  • The guys announce that the DiplomacyCast podcast is back after a 8 month hiatus. Its a good listen focused more on the face-to-face aspects of the game rather than online which we cover off (2 mins 30 secs)
  • The big news is the Calhamer estate auction over at eBay where the creator of Diplomacy, Alan Calhamer, has a heap of original Dip material when he created it in the 1950's. He passed away 4 years ago and now his estate is being sold off. Amby discusses how they've tried to get on the buyer of the very first Dip game (number 1 of 500) on to discuss their purchase, but they want to keep their anonymity (5 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby discusses how he'd love to look into which notable historical figures have played Diplomacy beyond JFK and Gary Gygax (9 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys then go onto discuss the prototype maps made by Calhamer, the auction just finishing about an hour before this recording (11 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner gives an update on the 1 vs 1 Dip tournament at WebDip  which is getting close to a tournament conclusion with the semi finals just round the corner (16 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby gives a brief update on the 2016 webDip championship after speaking with Goldfinger. Amby goes onto explain how webDip has a tournaments page where you can find out all things Dip tournament related and also ghost ratings (20 mins 10 secs)

Around the grounds

  • The Pizza, Pasta and Popes Rinascimento game played to welcome back drano19 at vDip has now ended in a seven way draw (23 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby gives a quick End-of-Game statement on his thoughts as Venice on the game and discusses Samj's well played stab, touches on RUFFHAUS' delicate gameplay as the Ottomans and what lead up to the draw occurring (25 mins)
  • Next its the Bourse game update with many big twists and turns since our last podcast update including: Amby deciding which side of the fence to fall to, the German Talus big buy and its impact on Victory Points and the migration strategy by China to harbor Turan in modern day Indonesia to keep his poker machine running (33 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby gives a brief Periscope update that at least we're getting proper Diplomacy players tuning in now, not just random foreign affairs questions. Then back to Bourse with Amby giving credit to Dr Recommended for his rapid strategy to safeguard Africa (40 mins)
  • Amby gives his view that France is as good as dead based on Dr Recommended's currency ownership (44 mins)

Interview with Super_Dipsy and Morg from PlayDiplomacy

  • Kaner and Amby set the scene for the interview (46 mins 30 secs)
  • We welcome Super_Dipsy and Morg from PlayDiplomacy and explain why we needed to talk to them after a heap of questions Carebear said other PlayDippers were better placed to answer (49 mins 15 secs)
  • We set the scene that Morg will be take on play by forum discussion, with Super_Dipsy tackling the rest as site Admin (52 mins 15 secs)
  • Super_Dipsy kicks things off by discussing the different options in PlayDip for country selection - random, first come first served and the preference system (52 mins 45 secs)
  • He then helps explain some awesome functionality at PlayDip for introducing the game to school students and how that's managed for teachers with over 200 schools now participating as part of their studies on how politics and other parts of the school curriculum work. The guys ask about retention of students playing and whether any schools tournaments happen (54 mins 15 secs)
  • Next Super_Dipsy talks about the different draw options at PlayDip: open ballot, secret ballot and solos only (59 mins 15 secs)
  • We then get into how the rating system works at PlayDip and how it gets around players sitting at the top of the rankings without actively playing (1 hr 2 mins 15 secs)
  • Super_Dipsy then gets onto the variants 1900 and Versailles that are on PlayDip but aren't on vDip. Both Amby and Kaner really like the way the gameplay works in Versailles where you're playing as a major and minor power and how Super_Dipsy describes it (1 hr 10 mins)
  • Super_Dipsy starts turning things over to Morg as he explains how games before being php coded for PlayDip are first played out extensively in the forum. Morg gives his take on being a GM in the early days was highly entertaining with the major/minor power dynamics (1 hr 14 mins)
  • Kaner asks about how the coding was done for Versailles (1 hr 15 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby clarifies how soloing the game works in Versailles (1 hr 17 mins 30 secs)
  • Super_Dipsy explains how games start and develop using the Escalation option with anywhere between 2 and 7 players in a game (developed by Edi Birsan) (1 hr 20 mins)
  • Then he gets onto the dynamic created when the Stuff Happens option is chosen for games (1 hr 22 mins 45 secs)
  • We next turn to finding out a lot more about forum games from Morg (1 hr 27 mins 15 secs)
  • He goes onto discuss how many forum games are typically played at any one time (1 hr 29 mins 30 secs)
  • Morg talks about some of the variants played, including Diplomacy points used for bidding what powers do eg Ambition and Empires, and also Greek City States (1 hr 30 mins 15 secs)
  • We then discuss how games make it from the forum to be php coded for PlayDip - apologies for the crows in the background! (1 hr 32 mins 30 secs)
  • Morg talks about one of his favourite forum games at the moment: Othello and Seismic (1 hr 33 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks how much effort is usually required of a Game Master to adjudicate a game (1 hr 36 mins)
  • Kaner asks about how you join a forum game at PlayDip (1 hr 37 mins 30 secs)
  • As mentioned in Carebear's interview there is a lot you can do at PlayDip without having to pay to play. Amby asks how much is premium membership with Super_Dipsy explaining how the membership costs are helping go to a new interface and an App for mobile phones (1 hr 38 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby clarifies if there's any rating system in the forum community (1 hr 40 mins)
  • Player classes are also discussed (1 hr 41 mins)
  • Kaner asks about the governance process for changes at PlayDip (1 hr 43 mins 50 secs)
  • Super_Dipsy touches on the changes they usually make each year to provide extra options for the army and navy icons, with a changes including sea serpents and griffins (1 hr 45 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner asks Super_Dipsy and Morg about to what extent they keep an eye on other Diplomacy sites other than PlayDip (1 hr 46 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner then has a follow up question for Morg about any variants he's seen at vDip or WebDip that might be coming to PlayDip's forum games soon (1 hr 49 mins)
  • Amby asks if they guys have any last minute advice or suggestions for anyone thinking of going over to PlayDip (1 hr  51 mins)
  • The guys discuss what they liked about the interview (1 hr 53 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby discusses how the Versailles variant helped inspire a new variant called the 1812 Overture mentioned in Diplomacy World - see page 12 in the linked PDF (1 hour 55 mins 40 secs)
  • The guys then go onto discuss the PlayDip approach to players' rankings when they become inactive (1 hr 57 mins 40 secs)

Amby's experience with PlayDiplomacy

  • In wrapping up the episode Amby discusses his thoughts after participating in the Online Diplomacy Championship over at PlayDiplomacy (1 hr 59 mins 45 secs)
  • He describes how aspects of the interface in some ways works really well, but in others not so. Also the caliber of the players was extraordinarily high and very cut-throat (2 hours 00 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby acknowledges he should have followed Carebear's advice about playing a game beforehand on PlayDip as without this he made errors on how to use the interface (2 hrs 3 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys discuss the great aesthetics of the PlayDip board (2 hrs 6 mins)
  • Amby talks about how he liked using the messaging system in PlayDip and its functionality to send reminder emails (2 hrs 8 mins 40 secs)
  • Finally Amby discusses some of the more clunky aspects of the game interface and hopes these aspects will be corrected with the update Super_Dipsy discussed in the interview (2 hrs 10 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys then wrap things up and discuss the importance of putting in a review and rating for the podcast in iTunes, it just takes 30 seconds guys, so please help and get to it! (2 hours 14 mins)

Venue: Breakfast Creek Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Carlton Draft and XXXX "off the wood"
  • Amby - Riddoch cabernet sauvignon from the Coonawarra, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

00:0000:00
Play Now

The guys live stream with Periscope and hit many Diplomacy topics: when your employer blocks Dip, the new Lab & variants being tested and interview with Flame. Plus we talk Dip etiquette on readying up orders, Victory Points farming in Bourse and how they're going in their games.

Around the grounds

  • Amby describes for new listeners/viewers on Periscope what the podcast is about (1 min)
  • Both of the guys say they're in way too many games. Amby says his problem is he's often having to go to 4 different Diplomacy platforms (2 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby describes briefly Cisco Spark, one of these Dip platforms that we will highlight in a future episode (2 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks Amby how he's going in the Online Diplomacy Championship over at PlayDip (3 mins)
  • Amby also goes to on to briefly discuss the group messaging system at PlayDip and his initial thoughts on it, before talking php and their WebDip games (4 mins)
  • The guys stuff around with the live Periscope feed (6 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner talks about how he's been going in his Sengoku tournament games (7 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby digresses onto the Known World tournament, before briefly touching on his First Crusade game, with that variant being highlighted in more detail in a future episode (8 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby tries setting Periscope viewers expectations straight about the podcast being about the game Diplomacy, rather than real life international foreign affairs (9 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about how a number of players in games they're in are criticising other players for taking too long to ready their orders (14 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby explains why he's occasionally been guilty of this of late (16 mins 45 secs)

Diplomacy Dilemmas

  • Kaner raises a Diplomacy Dilemmas question he received: "Is there any time in a game where you can legitimately NMR in a game?"  (18 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby gives his take, indicating he might have done this once in the past (20 mins)
  • Kaner describes how he's done this once before too (22 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby discusses how a player contacted him about Victory Points farming in the Bourse Known World 901 game, trying to get Amby to see the light (25 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner gives his independent non-player perspective on this issue (28 mins)
  • Amby flags how he's looking forward to when the game finishes up to have a wide ranging end-of-game interview in the podcast from other key players (29 mins 30 secs)

What the Doctor Recommended

  • Amby discusses how he received a PM from Murcanic who made it into the vDip top 100, and wanted to be included in an updated pronunciation effort from the guys (30 mins)
  • Kaner and Amby then go on to start a What the Dr Recommended attempt at pronouncing the names of the top 20 players at webDip (31 mins 10 secs)

When the boss bans Dip

  • The guys discuss how Amby's employer blocks pretty much all Dip sites, while Kaner's gives him access, but blocks Diplomail, possibly because its a Russian site (34 mins)
  • Amby gives Kaner some bullshit excuses on how to convince your employer to lift their block on Dip sites. Kaner adds to the possible arguments depending on your line of work (35 mins)
  • The guys then go onto explain how you can try getting around this by not using the boss' network (eg using an iPad, phone etc) (37 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby explains how the only Dip site he can reach at work is Cisco Spark's Diplomacy area. Amby goes on to talk briefly about Cisco Spark and North American face-to-face champ Chris Martin. We'll cover this in a future podcast when Amby has more time to familiarise himself with how it works  (40 mins 20 secs)

The new Lab

  • The guys discuss the new Lab and its 4 variants being currently play tested: Napoleonic, War of the Austrian Succession, Mongolian Empire and Lepanto x6 (42 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner is playing in all 4 games, Amby just in Napoleonic. As a result Amby asks Kaner to explain his thoughts and experience first up on Lepanto x6. It follows a lot of the same principles and gameplay as Lepanto which is a 1 vs 1 game, but turns it on its head (44 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner talks about how Flame (Admin at Diplomail and the new Lab) has received some of the files for the new Lab (45 mins 15 secs)
  • As Guroz created the game but has since dropped off the scene, it may be a little harder for this game to make it live. So far it is the only variant that failed technical play testing by crashing - as a result we have no link for you (46 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby starts describing how Lepanto x6 is played out on a hexagonal board set in space. Kaner gives the details for how armies, space ships, planets (SC's), warp points and space stations work in the game (46 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner explains in light of all these little twists the board is a bit visually overwhelming for his liking and gives it a thumbs down. Amby explains he likes the space based concept but maybe not this map (50 mins)
  • The guys move onto the next game Kaner is playing in the Lab, the War of the Austrian Succession. Kaner likes this one, he played as Prussia and felt he was thrown straight into the diplomatic arena of negotiation straight away while still having opportunities to expand. Amby explains how he likes the visual nature and historical accuracy of the variant (51 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner what the dark black lines on the map are, but doesn't get a very convincing answer from Kaner. The guys also discuss some of the border connections on the board shown with red lines. Overall they both give this two thumbs up (53 mins 45 secs)
  • Finally the guys turn to the new Napoleonic variant in the Lab, discussing the test game they're both in. They both really love how the map looks and works, even down to the way territory names are displayed on the map. What makes this variant particularly challenging is the absence of neutrals. For this reason Kaner doesn't like this aspect of the map, making diplomatic negotiations even more important. Amby doesn't mind this but acknowledges it makes the game a lot harder (56 mins 45 secs)
  • They discuss how they're going in this particular game, with Kaner as Italy and Amby as the Ottomans. As its a test game, the usual confidentiality and speaking about a game they're both in isn't as critical as normal. Amby goes on to discuss how he likes the little postcard sized territories. Players on the board have different number of units with most on 3, some 4 and France on 5 SCs  (1 hour 00 mins 30 secs)
  • After Amby stuffs around with the pause button as they get drinks, Kaner explains the decor in the hallway to the gents toilets. In wrapping up the Lab games, Kaner explains he wants to discuss the Mongolian Empire variant a little later in a future episode, so we'll wait 'til then  (1 hour 05 mins 30 secs)

Interview with Flame, creator of the new Lab and admin at Diplomail

  • Amby gives a quick back story on how Diplomacy labs work in creating php games. He explains vDip while having a Lab, its become inactive with Oli busy with other priorities (1 hour 07 mins 15 secs)
  • As the php web Diplomacy code is open source, it can be picked up and installed anywhere. Kaner explains why some Dip sites have been reluctant to install extra variants because of the risk of code incompatibility and crashing. Basically you need a good php coder to manage the risk of this. The Diplomail community was created using this open source, primarily for the Russian community. However, Flame has made the Lab more open to English speaking players (1 hour 09 mins 15 secs)
  • Due to the fact that English isn't Flame's first language, he preferred to do a text based interview which we were cool with. Kaner is going to ask the questions, and Amby answers on behalf of Flame (1 hour 11 mins 45 secs)
  • We start exploring why Flame created the Lab, what level of technical skills are needed to add variants to the Lab and whether there's a guide on what to do to create variants (1 hour 12 mins 30 secs)
  • Next we look at Flame's role at Diplomail and his role in personally creating the variants Classic Cataclysm - the standard map but units can move seamlessly between land and sea territories regardless of how they start. Flame says the next variant he'd like to see is the Western 901 variant. The Known World 901 variant was originally envisioned by David Cohen as two maps, a western and eastern version but it was subsequently sewn together. Flame would like just the western iteration to come to life on the site  (1 hour 15 mins)
  • We ask Flame about in his opinion what makes a great variant. He says he likes good balance and based on history, for this reason he really likes the Napoleonic variant (1 hour 19 mins)
  • Amby asks about the flexibility of the Lab and its game engine eg he'd like to change the way retreating clippers operate in Pirates, as their current behavior is generally hated by anyone playing the variant. Flame goes onto explain what new game functionality will be available from the Lab (1 hour 20 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby goes on to say that if there's a chance the double space retreat movement of clippers can be reduced to one, he'd like to check with the Dip community if there are any other fixes so they can all be done at once in the Lab. Amby goes onto say some players bitch about how privateers are tied to their host nation eg Captain Henry Morgan (one player) and England (another players) cannot attack each other. Amby goes on to explain that he doesn't want to change that as the coding would be too difficult to swap privateers into pirates, and potentially pirate to privateers (1 hour 24 mins 15 secs)
  • We explore with Flame whether he can personally help if a variant creator doesn't have strong php technical skills (1 hour 27 mins 30 secs)
  • Next we tackle the question of plans for once games are successfully play tested in the Lab and then moved to Diplomail, what chances are there that the variant will also be moved to vDip (1 hour 28 mins 30 secs)
  • We ask about Diplomail and its community and culture compared to other Dip sites, and support for Diplomail (1 hour 32 mins)
  • We discover that Flame isn't actually Russian, how he got into Dip and shares some of his political views about Putin. Flame goes on to discuss the breakdown of Russian players at Diplomail compared to players from other parts of the ex-Soviet Union (1 hour 35 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby goes off on a tangent with a culturally insensitive joke (1 hour 38 mins 45 secs)
  • Flame explains in Classic what countries he likes and dislikes playing, then he discusses what variants are his favorite and what he thinks about getting more people playing Diplomacy (1 hour 41 mins 30 secs)
  • Lastly we ask Flame about the quality of Amby's Russian pronunciations from our last episode before wrapping things up (1 hour 44 mins 15 secs)

Venue: Embassy Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Drought Relief lager by Newstead Brewery from Queensland, Australia
  • Amby - Cake shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

00:0000:00
Play Now

In this episode the guys discuss late news, introduce the new Diplomacy Dilemmas segment, review the Japanese medieval variant Sengoku and do bad Russian pronunciations while examining Diplomail, the Russian Diplomacy site.

Late news and game updates

  • Flame has flagged he's putting together a variant Lab. Amby mentions how Captain Meme and A_Tin_Can don't seem to be making a Lab anymore, which is ok if Flame is doing so. Kaner points out Flame is one of the admins at http://server.Diplomail.ru - the Russian Diplomacy site (2 mins 50 secs)
  • The guys talk about what variants they'd start working on if the Lab was up and running again. Amby says he'd do his planned Cold War 1 vs 1 game on the WWIV map, although if the Lab allowed non-standard coding he'd be keen to do his Nuclear Diplomacy variant. Kaner says he'd like to work on David E. Cohen's Southeast Asia variant or "Fuck You Stalemate Lines" - a variant using a standard Classic map, but each territory would be divided into "sea lanes" rules ie 5 territories in each territory NE, SE, SW and NW and a central overseer zone where the SC would be located if there was an SC in that territory (5 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby reflects on the PlayDip forum and variant banks on what maps don't get enough love and need to be brought to the online environment (10 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys then start talking about their Rinascimento game "Pasta, Pizza and Popes" and reflect on Kaner being eliminated first. Kaner asks Amby (who started in the box seat as Venice) about how he's found the game, especially in the centre of the board (12 mins)
  • After the occasional tangent on alcohol, cars and holidays the guys start talking sport and discuss the women's Australian Football League, before discussing how you could create a sports based Diplomacy variant - skip over this bit if you don't care about the types of football in Australia (16 mins)
  • Kaner gets back to Genova's approach in the Rinascimento game before Amby discusses how alliances keep changing in the centre of the map. Kaner cheers on Decima's efforts while Amby lifts the cover on PMs from our resident Italian player (20 mins)

New segment: Diplomacy Dilemmas

  • In this new segment the guys asked players for particular problems they're having in their games and attempt to give sage advice (26 mins)
  • Our first Diplomacy Dilemma comes from Dr Recommended who asks "How do you deal with a player like Amby?" Kaner gives his sage advice based on his experience playing against Amby. While Amby reflects on Kaner's suggestions (26 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby in return asks how do you deal with a player like Dr Recommended (34 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about how game ending has increasingly been solo focused rather than two or three way alliance draws (36 mins)
  • Kaner and Amby talk about how your relationships with players tends to ebb and flow over time in games (40 mins)
  • Ezio is up next in Diplomacy Dilemmas with a question on how can you can tell that a player is about to stab you, and how you can avoid making telltale signs if you're planning in stabbing. Mikey99 responded in the forum about his thoughts. Kaner starts with his take re: builds and how he used a similar strategy in his recent African game  and relates it to Mikey's advice (44 mins 30 secs)
  • The last bit of Mikey's advice is when a player has been chatty and then goes silent on you. Amby brings up the scientific evidence of this - a 2015 study in Science News by researcher Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil looking at the way people communicated across 249 games and 145,000 messages between players. When there was a time to stab there was a shift in politeness. Players who were excessively polite were more likely to betray. People suddenly becoming polite were more likely to be victims of betrayal  (49 mins)
  • Also increased planning language with the soon to be victim also tended to lead to pending betrayal (52 mins)
  • Amby brings up another Diplomacy Dilemma from Donald45 who's playing an American Conflict game and trying to work out how to deal with his current situation (53 mins)
  • And our last Dip Dilemma from Leif about a problem he keeps having in Gunboat games fighting two front wars and never accepting overtures towards peace. The guys discuss whether timing is the key to Leif's dilemma (55 mins)
  • The guys talk about how timing, and how performing well at the start, tends to also lead to players ganging up on you (59 mins 30 secs)
  • After yet another drink Amby discusses whether he should join a 1066 gunboat game or not, and chooses to do so (1 hour 8 mins)

Sengoku - the Japanese variant

  • Kaner explains he's in a 8 x 8 Sengoku tournament at the moment (1 hour 9 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about the board layout, where each player represents a Samurai and battle it out across Japan. There can only be one victor (the shogun) - so no drawing is allowed (1 hour 11 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about player biases against a map based on how they're previously played (1 hour 14 mins)
  • Sea territories play a big role in this game based on the guys'experience (1 hour 15 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner laments that when he plays in the centre of the board he generally doesn't do well (1 hour 16 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys talk about the latest Kamasutra position that's become all the rage in Diplomacy (1 hour 17 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner gets shitty about Amby winning Sengoku in his recent game as a central player (1 hour 18 mins 30 secs)

More Dip chit-chat

  • The guys discuss how they're looking forward to new variants. Amby mentions he's in a First Crusade game at the moment and may talk more about it in the next podcast (1 hour 20 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner gives Amby a history lesson about the Childen's Crusades, and goes on to talk about the show Drunk History (1 hour 23 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys give a belated shout out to Benjamin Hester for creating Sengoku, and Oli for porting it across online (1 hour 27 mins)
  • Lastly the guys talk about the Russian diplomacy site Diplomail.ru. Amby tries his bad Russian (after many drinks please forgive him for bad prounciations and translations). Amby asks Flame to critique him (1 hour 27 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner goes onto show Amby how they've ported across almost all the variants at vDiplomacy to Diplomail (1 hour 30 mins 30 secs)

Venue: Victory Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Bright Ale by Little Creatures Brewery from Victoria, Australia
  • Amby - Parson's Nose shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

00:0000:00
Play Now

In this episode the guys discuss the cross-site Online Diplomacy Championship happening over at PlayDiplomacy and interview the tournament director Carebear. 

Fast news

  • First up a quick update on the 1 vs 1 WebDiplomacy tournament and the shock news of Devonian and a number of other great players losing their games (2 mins 20 secs)
  • It looks like the face-to-face DiplomacyCast podcast website is off the air again. Amby has emailed one of its co-hosts twice to find out what's happening but hasn't had a reply (5 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby and Kaner explain how they're getting busy in real life and will be changing their recording schedule. Basically they'll catch up a little less often and record two episodes at once - which is what they start doing from today (7 mins 15 secs)

Carebear's avatar on PlayDiplomacyCarebear interview

Special note: Carebear asked if we could mask his voice a little, so we did our best...

  • Amby explains he had some recording problems with his questions, so he's tried to amplify his voice to make it clearer for listeners (8 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys set the scenes for the interview and the Online Diplomacy Championship which includes players from PlayDiplomacy, webDiplomacy, vDiplomacy, Stabbeurfou, BackStabbr and face-to-face players (10 mins)
  • Carebear discusses how he got started in Diplomacy 30 years ago and tracked down the first Diplomacy instances online (11 mins)
  • Amby asks why Carebear ended up ultimately at PlayDiplomacy and why he likes it (13 mins 45 secs)
  • A brief discussion about the how the PlayDip forum is very different to other Dip forums (15 mins 15 secs)
  • Carebear gives an overview about the Online Diplomacy Championship originally created by ghug and why the second championship is being held at PlayDiplomacy (16 mins 20 secs)
  • Invited players from other sites are getting access to PlayDip's tournament interface during the competition without having to purchase a premium membership (18 mins)
  • Players not from PlayDip are invited provided they have high rankings and reliability on their respective sites. To reduce the chance of players from PlayDip from NMRing/CDing, only the  top 150 players from there are being considered (22 mins)
  • Kaner clarifies what the PlayDip vernacular "surrendering" means (24 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about how the various Dip sites factor in reliability (25 mins)
  • Cut off deadline for Round 1 at the ODC is 15 February 2017. There'll be additional deadlines for the second and third rounds, with some solid reliable players able to join later, although it'll be harder to reach the top board (26 mins)
  • Amby asks about the tournament system being used to manage the championship. Carebear explains how preliminary round scores are aggregated so the top seven scoring players make the top board for the fourth round. There may be two other boards running for players who don't quite make the top board (27 mins)
  • Kaner double checks its being played on the standard Classic board. Carebear confirms, although its called Pure Diplomacy at PlayDiplomacy and will be played by standard rules (29 mins)
  • In discussing PlayDip, Carebear mentions the interface isn't brilliant on mobile devices, but changes are currently being worked on to improve the experience. The interface at PlayDip also allows you to put in illegal orders eg army Munich move to Sevastopol, which is changed by the system adjudicator as a hold  (29 mins 45 secs)
  • In PlayDip there are many more options for how you can post messages which allows you to send a single message to multiple players in the group you choose (32 mins)
  • Amby asks about whether invited non-PlayDip players can try the interface before the game. Carebear clears things up saying there is a free membership at PlayDip but there are limitations of a maximum of 3 games and only on the Pure Diplomacy board. For those wanting to access the features above that you'd need to pay to be a premium member (34 mins)
  • Carebear discusses the Guest Guide for non-PlayDip players about PlayDip, and recommends jumping into an unranked game where a player has gone into civil disorder (36 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby gives a thumbs up to the look and feel of the Pure Diplomacy map at PlayDip before asking about if there is any prize for the winner beyond the kudos. Carebear says he's planning on having certificates and is open to ideas on what else could be added in. Zoltar at webDip is giving 500 points to whoever wins the tournament (37 mins)
  • Kaner asks Carebear about what some of the variant options in PlayDip do eg Stuff Happens and Escalation (39 mins 20 secs)
  • As Carebear hasn't used a lot of the PlayDip variant features, Amby asks if the guys can be hooked up with another PlayDip player with a variant interest (42 mins 20 secs)
  • Carebear says he can organise that, and gives an overview of how Forum games work including how some forum variant games were successfully ported across to the main part of the site eg Versailles (43 mins)
  • Carebear explains why he prefers standard Pure Diplomacy and his thoughts on Gunboat games (46 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks if Carebear has any picks or players to watch out for in the ODC (48 mins)
  • Carebear explains the ODC needs a few more vDip players (53 mins)
  • Carebear outlines how Edi Bersen will be playing and how he's trying to get the current World Diplomacy Champion involved (54 mins)
  • Carebear gives his views on the differences between face-to-face and online players perspectives on each other's respective channel (55 mins)
  • Kaner reflects on the interconnectedness between the various Dip sites and face-to-players (1 hour 1 min)

Post interview

  • Amby explains how he didn't know PlayDiplomacy allowed for free games and had incorrectly assumed everything was pay based (1 hr 2 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner likes the ability to input illegal orders as a means of communicating in a Gunboat game (1 hr 3 mins 20 sec)
  • The guys agree that Carebear's girlfriend that took him to his very first Diplomacy game should be considered the best girlfriend in the world  (1 hr 3 mins 50 sec)
  • They go onto disagree with each other about PlayDip's forums - with Amby loving it and Kaner hating it (1 hr 5 mins)
  • The guys had a heap more PlayDip questions about how the platform operates, but as it wasn't Carebear's forte we've held them over for a PlayDip second part at some stage in the not too distant future (1 hr 6 mins 20 secs)

Game updates

  • First up it's Bourse time with Amby saying he's started going backwards in the bourse part of the game and continues to go poorly on the board. That said he outlines his own goal for the game (1 hr 7 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner grills Amby on missing the big Khazaria currency speculation (1 hr 9 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner about the suggestion in the vDip forum about a World War IV Bourse game (1 hr 11 mins)
  • The guys discuss Captainmeme's suggestion of changing the scoring system in the next Bourse game so victory conditions are determined by both how a player performs in the Bourse and the board (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Amby outlines how he appreciates Captainmeme's outline of the concepts of Money Farms and VP Farms (1 hr 15 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby asks what Kaner's thoughts are on CD's - with 35 players there's a much higher chance of someone failing to enter orders - and time game time limits (1 hr 18 mins 45 secs)

Venue: Victory Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Bright Ale by Little Creatures Brewery from Victoria, Australia (although Kaner calls it a "Pure Blonde")
  • Amby - Annie's Lane cabernet merlot from the Clare Valley, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

00:0000:00
Play Now

The guys pick up discussion on 1 vs 1 games following last episode's technical difficulties and look at the Cold War and Duo games they're playing against each other. Then its an unexpected journey down the rabbit hole of recent events at webDiplomacy before discussing how Diplomacy sites could better structure themselves for longevity. Then Kaner talks about his recent "Africa" variant game. Enjoy!

  • Amby does a mea culpa on why last episode had so many technical difficulties (2 mins)

1 vs 1 variants - part 2

  • The guys discuss how they've been playing against each other in two 1v1 games: Cold War and Duo. In the Cold War game Amby as the USSR convincingly beat Amby as the USA (3 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses the battlefronts for the Panama Canal, Europe and around Australia and Indonesia. Amby reminds Kaner how its important to familiarise yourself with each variants special rules (4 mins)
  • In Cold War there are in fact land bridges between Australia-Indonesia and Indonesia-Philippines (5 mins)
  • Kaner discusses he made a few misorders and was taken by surprise when Amby convoyed into Alaska (5 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses how the map used is a very different perspective of the Earth and can be confusing in Europe on which territories are connected (6 mins 20 secs)
  • Set just before the Cuban Missile Crisis, to achieve game balance this variant by Safari misses out on historical accuracy eg East and West Germany, Japan, Saigon and Alaska start as neutrals (7 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby discusses his thoughts on maybe how the map could be improved for better historical accuracy, before Kaner points out how it'd probably detrimentally impact gameplay (8 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about their cut and thrust experience before wrapping up the end-game (14 mins)
  • They go onto discuss how there never was a dull moment with this variant with many offensive opportunities available. Kaner gives his thoughts on playing the variant with victory conditions requiring taking all the SC's (15 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses his thoughts of a bigger Cold War game set around 1983 on the WWIV map, aiming for gameplay balance while maintaining historical accuracy. Amby talks about how in Dip there's a proxy between cities and military strength. In real-life there would've been more territory controlled by the west this could give them too much of an advantage.  They both give their ideas on how to balance this out with guerilla units for the initial opening year (17 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys then move onto their Duo game with Amby discussing how he's really enjoyed this game with each of them taking the lead at various times. That said Kaner suggests he doesn't have high hopes and can see himself being flanked in the west (23 mins)
  • Kaner gives his thoughts on the territory naming and how they don't necessarily intuitively match up between the map abbreviations and their names in the drop down order menu (25 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby chastises Kaner for his piss weak excuse about mis-ordering (26 mins 30 secs)
  • Following on from last episode's interview with Devonian and the concept of "lanes of attack", Amby discusses how he now comprehends his argument (27 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys give their final thoughts on the Cold War and Duo maps, and the special rules in Duo (28 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby concludes how much he likes the Duo map as he felt constantly on his toes, meanwhile Kaner slams it (30 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys agree to take a break from 1 vs 1 games for a bit, due to their over-commitments (32 mins)
  • After discussing their recent games together, the guys touch on their Mate Against Mate game and that they should've held off on that variant on the podcast until Australia Day (26 January.) Amby gives a big thumbs up to the Australia Day ad for the Australian Lamb Corporation who've cleverly branded lamb as being the food of choice on this public holiday (33 mins 40 secs)

Goings on at webDip

  • Kaner mentions that webDiplomacy are removing Known World 901 after only a short gig - and Duo as a result will never be ported across for the same reason. The standing armies and transform orders are apparently an issue with the way the code works and its potential impact on the official php Diplomacy code  (35 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner goes onto explain that Oli's "hacking" of the code for vDip has created some issues at webDip (36 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby calls Kaner out as a webDip lurker (38 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby confirms how his team members in the 2016 webDip championship have lost all their games and are now well and truly out (38 mins 50 secs)
  • The guys talk about the 1 vs 1 webDip tournament and mention Ezio has thrown down the gauntlet against Devonian for Round 4, to see who'll take on bozotheclown (presumably bozo) in Round 5 (40 mins)
  • Kaner explains how the Challonge system works in this tournament (all rounds must finish before the next round commences) (43 mins)
  • The guys at webDip are attempting to crowdsource additional funds for making technical changes to the site (45 mins 15 secs)

Down the Dip site ownership rabbit hole 

  • Amby builds off the crowdsourcing post at webDip to talk a little about his personal thoughts and concerns about vDip. As the site is owned by Oli and he's been absent the past 12 months (aside from a brief appearance to get the 1600 variant up and running), Amby poses the question: what if Oli's real life commitments saw vDip drop off the internet? (47 mins 50 secs)
  • For example if the domain name registration wasn't kept up to date, expired and got grabbed by a cyber squatter, losing the whole playing community (48 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner mentions how exactly this happened to the Italian online Diplomacy site and has just recently happened to the face-to-face Diplomacy podcast, DiplomacyCast  (49 mins)
  • Amby discusses how about a year ago he PMed a number of "old school" players about how to mitigate this risk for vDip (51 mins 15 secs)
  • In addition, Amby discusses the risk of the rights holder of the Diplomacy board game strongly enforcing intellectual property, or if a player did something adverse in real life against another player, what would be the legal impact on the vDip site owner. Amby flags in his personal view thoughts on mitigating personal liability risks to Dip site owners with possible changes to the structure of legal ownership for sites  (52 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys flag they need to get another update from ATinCan and captainmeme on the proposed development site. They throw down the gauntlet that if ATinCan comes to Brisbane, the guys will buy him drinks all night  (55 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby and Kaner discuss "getting their shit together" in attending an Australian based Dip tournament this year, possibly PoppyCon (56 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner mentions why Oli may be reluctant to look at moving things around a little.  (57 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about the idea of structuring site ownership as a not-for-profit organisation to eliminate the personal risk to the site owner(s). This could make it more possible to push boundaries for other variant ideas that have some IP clouds around them eg fan based maps for Westeros, Lord of the Rings, etc (58 mins)
  • Amby asks Kaner about his thoughts on what could happen in this space. Kaner flags a similar donation idea so people could voluntarily contribute and a backup facility could be put in place in case the webserver goes down. Amby asks what players think - send us a comment from the web site or PM us (1 hour 0 mins)
  • Kaner says he values the political discussions in the webDip forums  (1 hour 2 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby discusses fan creations broadly across the internet and provided its not being done for profit, the risk can be better managed (1 hr 5 mins)

What the Doctor Recommended

Game wraps - Rinascimento

  • We initially didn't plan to talk about the "Welcome back" Rinascimento game for drano (technically called Pizza, Pasta and Popes), but started chatting anyway. Kaner drew Sienna (good luck there!) while Amby scored Venezia, the big kid on the block. See our earlier episode on this variant if you don't know much about Rinascimento (1 hour 9 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about his attempts to work with Firenze unsuccessfully and is bummed he'll likely be the first one out, and France is likely to survive year one (1 hour 11 mins)
  • When asked by Amby about what France and Savoia are up to, Kaner comes up with his stunning strategic assessment of the situation (1 hour 11 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby discusses Leif's smooth talking style in staying in as France, before giving a big hat tip to RUFFHAUS' negotiation skills in grabbing 4 SCs in the first year with his 4 fleets  (1 hour 12 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys discuss what left-field strategies Kaner could follow to survive and stay in the game ( 1 hour 13 mins)

African variant

  • Kaner starts talking about his recent African game "The ghost and the darkness" including special intro music (1 hour 14 mins 30 secs)
  • In this game Kaner took part in a three-way draw between himself as Ethiopia, Dr Recommended as Morocco and trip as Madagascar (1 hour 18 mins 20 secs)
  • This variant was created by Tristan. Incidentally we didn't mention in our earlier discussion that Cold War was created by Firehawk and Safari and Duo by Frank Hegermann (1 hour 18 mins 30 secs)
  • "Africa" is an eight player variant. Its essentially a map of Africa with each state as a territory with a random sprinkling of SC's (1 hour 19 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby thinks Tristan would a good call with blocking out the Arabian peninsula as inaccessible territory and a number of navigable rivers. Amby gives a random thumbs up to the bar for their second Beastie Boys song. Then he proceeds to pay out on Kaner's territory pronunciations before getting tongue-tied himself. But back to the variant which has a number of neutrals (poo brown in colour) that begin with standing armies (1 hour 21 mins)
  • The guys point out that this variant appears to be unbalanced as Morocco and Madagascar significantly out-perform other players in the statistics (1 hour 25 mins)
  • Kaner talks about his overall strategy in this game to be part of the three way draw and the critical role of the Rift Valley region on the map (1 hour 26 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby discusses how he's surprised Egypt doesn't perform better.  This was a gunboat game and Kaner goes onto explain how he thinks it would be a better map to play with normal press (1 hour 29 mins)
  • Kaner describes a large convoy attempt in autumn 2016 which Kaner interpreted as a subtle gunboat communication for players to pull their heads in against a strong Morocco. Amby blows Kaner's idea away as a fuck up, before he back-peddles seeing the logic in Kaner's argument (1 hour 31 mins)
  • As a result of the draw Kaner went up 50 points, but still missed out making the Top 100 in the vDip Hall of Fame (1 hour 36 mins 45 secs)

Other stuff

  • Amby recommends after all their drinks that they both hold off on putting in Duo orders until the next day when they're more sober (1 hour 40 mins 45 secs)

Venue: Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - Hopsmith IPA by Akasha Brewing from New South Wales, Australia
  • Amby - Zitta Union Street shiraz from the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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This episode sees the boys tackle 1 vs 1 games while hitting many a technology glitch. From a bad Skype connection for Kaner during our interview with Devonian, to multiple times the recording dropping out during the episode. So apologies in advance. But otherwise please enjoy!

Around the Board - game updates

  • The guys give an update on how they're going in the Known World 901 tournament in games three and four (2 mins)
  • Then its time to talk about the ongoing Bourse game and how Amby has reached the point where he's sure there's no way he can win (2 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner has a giggle at ScubaSteve's global press comments in the game and the guys give their views on how the players are doing  (4 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby explains how he's turning into a vassal state and how more powerful states are using them (7 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby gives his take on "how bozo does it" (9 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys flag they've just started a Rinascimento game with a number of great players and their early pre-game thoughts on how it'll go (12 mins)
  • The game is being played as a result of Drano coming back to vDiplomacy after a two year hiatus (14 mins 15 secs)

1 vs 1 variants (& Amby's update on the webDip 2016 championship)

  • webDiplomacy has now released two new 1 vs 1 variants - France vs Austria and Germany vs Italy (17 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby digresses to discuss how he lost his 2016 webDip championship round. He discusses how at the end of autumn in 1901 he missed out on grabbing an SCs with Russia and Austria ganging up to cripple Amby as Turkey. He describes how we worked to stay in the game and come out equal 2nd, although losing to General Lee as England who soloed(18 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner explains about the crazy 110 player 1 vs 1 webDip tournament (25 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys experience their first technical glitch at this point. Originally we thought the wind had blown a piece of paper onto the recorder and turned it off. But as we later discover, it had more to do with the batteries running out! (27 mins)
  • The guys return to the 1 vs 1 webDip tourney and give their top tips on players (27 mins 45 secs)

Interview with Devonian 

  • First up an advance apology on Kaner's audio. He had a crappy Skype or internet connection so sometimes its hard to know what he's saying. So Amby and Devonian try to do their best interpreting what they think the question may be (28 mins 30 secs)
  • Devonian is the reigning 1 vs 1 champion at vDiplomacy. Amby asks how to correctly pronounce Devonian's handle (30 mins)
  • Amby outlines how he did badly at when 1 vs 1 games originally became available on vDip, and as a result has generally avoided it  (30 mins 55 secs)
  • Devonian explains how he started getting involved in 1 vs 1 games, how he enjoys it and uses the skills he's learnt from it in normal Diplomacy games (31 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner asks about Devonian's approach to discussion with other players and how he employs tactics as a result (33 mins 05 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how Devonian destroyed him in a game of Duo. Kaner asks about the strategy Devonian used against him, with a particular focus around getting the right balance between capturing SCs and advancing a unit. Devonian explains how Duo is a really different game with no stalemate lines, 4 to 5 lines of attack and the time taken to get a build up to the front line impacts on effective gameplay. As a variant Duo though tends to rely on 50/50 guesses sometimes being made (34 mins 10 secs)
  • Devonian goes into a little more detail about approaching lanes of attack on Duo (36 mins)
  • Devonian explains how the tactics vary between Duo and a traditional 1 vs 1 game on the Classic board. Lanes of attack still exist on the classic board but they tend to be wider and more varied (38 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about Devonian's approach to openings on a 1 vs 1 board (40 mins 05 secs)
  • Kaner asks Devonian about whether 1 vs 1 games lend themselves to a race for supply centres. Devonian discusses its more about maintaining parity against an opponent grabbing SCs, or you ideally gaining the advantage. This is particular critical in the first 3 game years. The only real "race" tends to be the England v Turkey variant (41 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby asks Devonian's take on whether 1 vs 1 games should be viewed as "diplomacy" games as there isn't any real communication (43 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby explores with Devonian his views on playing Diplomacy as training for how to deal with people in real life (44 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner asks about whether Devonian is excited about the new webDip 1 vs 1 tournament (46 mins)
  • Devonian explains how he doesn't think he'll catch the webDip players unawares (47 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby asks Devonian about what type of things can webDip players do to improve their chances in the 1 vs 1 tournament. He gives his insights on staying on the offensive and going after the opponent rather than neutrals. Tactics beyond this can only really be learnt by playing (48 mins 10 secs)
  • Devonian outlines how Germany vs Italy is his favourite amongst all the 1 vs 1 variants. He also like France vs Austria and also Germany vs Austria (note: GvA can't use the "choose your country" option as it crashes). He also explains which 1 vs 1 variants he doesn't like (49 mins 50 secs)
  • Amby asks about some of the other 1 vs 1 variants including Fall of the American Empire: Civil War and Cold War and Devonian's thoughts on them. Cold War gets a massive thumbs up and also has the advantage that if you fall behind on SC count it is possible to recover (51 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about whether there's any 1 vs 1 variants that don't exist on vDip or webDip that he'd like to see created (53 mins)
  • Devonian talks about the 1 vs 1 variant Lepanto and why he doesn't play it much as it's too easy to stalemate (54 mins 10 secs)
  • Kaner asks which player Devonian struggles with the most. He explains how the caliber at the top of the 1 vs 1 vDip ladder has really strengthened in recent years. He goes on to discuss how bozo really challenges him as he doesn't make many mistakes (55 mins)
  • Devonian discusses how he got into playing variants instead of Classic Diplomacy. He touches on how the vDiplomacy community is really great (56 mins 30 secs)

In closing...

  • The guys then discuss their key takeaways from Devonian's interview before Amby challenges Kaner to a 1 vs 1 Cold War and Duo game (58 mins 40 secs)
  • Just before the batteries start running out Kaner touches on webDip players' reactions to the Known World variant (1 hour 2 mins)

Venue: Sixteen Antlers, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

  • Kaner - White Rabbit ale from Victoria, Australia
  • Amby - Yangarra shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia

Don't forget if you're enjoying the podcast please hop onto iTunes and give us a rating and a review so we can get the Diplomacy message out.

If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see covered in an upcoming podcast, or something you'd like to see regularly covered, please contact us or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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