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


July 6, 2018

Mud throwing Dip style

After a while between drinking sessions Kaner and Amby hook up again in a loud American bar for Independence Day before heading down to the Riverbar to throw Dip mud in each others' face.


  • Kaner and Amby celebrate Independence Day by starting off in an American themed sports bar called “Fat Angel”. Amby is drinking a Mojo shiraz from the Barossa Valley, Kaner is drinking the Feral Warthog IPA from West Australia. The guys felt when recording it was too loud and plan to move to another bar (although listening later, it wasn’t too bad) (0 mins 5 secs)
  • Now they’re at Riverbar. Kaner quickly throws in a heap of Australian colloquialisms before talking about his urinal experience (2 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys recognise its been a while since we last got together in a pub for an episode (4 mins 45 secs)

A long around the grounds

  • They talk about what they’ve learnt as a result of implementing some of Dr Recommended’s suggestion on which games to sign up to: gunboat games with longer phase periods. Amby acknowledges that he made some slip ups in his decision making on which NMR/CD games to join (5 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about his WW4 game as Japan that has just wrapped up in a draw before saying how drunk he is already (10 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys experience technical issues in the field being iPad-less (13 mins)
  • They introduce their drinks: Amby has a Malbec Tarrazas Reserva from Mendoza, Argentina Kaner is drinking a Four Pines Kolsch from Sydney in Australia (14 mins 20 secs)
  • Then it’s back to discussing the WW4 game. Amby asks about the strategy of throwing SCs to allies (14 mins 50 secs)
  • They talk words (19 mins)
  • Kaner discusses his desire to colour every territory on the map (21 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby talks about borders in maps - the border aspects he likes, the bits he doesn’t like. He references the Crusades 1201 map and games he is in (23 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks whether the Crusades map is historically accurate (25 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys give their thoughts on other possible Crusades variant ideas (27 mins 45 secs)
  • Then Amby discusses the borders in the Edwardian variant and this thoughts (33 mins)
  • Time for a discussion on the guys’ various Divided States, and why his “be nice to people” philosophy just does not work (39 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby discusses very briefly the Known World 901 Tournament (46 mins 45 secs)
  • He then talks about the 1066 Tournament (48 mins)

What the Dr Recommended

  • Then its a quick “What the Dr Recommended” segment, going through the top 50 in the vDip Hall of Fame (49 mins 45 secs)

Kaner v Amby: fight time over scoring

  • Kaner brings up a forum discussion on points and scoring. It doesn’t take long until he and Amby disagree with each other (52 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner about Ghost Ratings (1 hr 4 mins)

Dip World, red boxes and padlocks

  • Kaner discusses the latest Diplomacy World issue 142, upcoming tournaments and an article from Enriador about the variant Florence on vDip (1 hr 7 mins 45 secs)
  • Before wrapping things up they talk quickly about the red warning box and padlock changes that have occured on vDip and to some extent webDip (1 hr 11 mins)
  • They then wrap up the episode (1 hr 14 mins)

Podcast bonus!

But wait, there’s more! The guys add an encore jokes segment (1 hr 15 mins)


Venue: Fat Angel's (briefly) and then Riverbar, Brisbane.

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Feral Warthog IPA from West Australia and then Four Pines Kolsch from Sydney, Australia

Amby - Mojo shiraz from the Barossa Valley, Australia and then Malbec Tarrazas Reserva from Mendoza, Argentina.

Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. Or if you want to help improve the audio equipment you can donate at Patreon. Lastly, don't forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone!


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Kaner has too much shit going on to head to the pub... the shame! But we wanted to at least share with you this interview with vDip's Dr Recommended. Everyone is drinking during the interview and its a bit of fun, especially discussion about the on again/off again relationship between Doc and Amby.

Interview with Dr Recommended

  • Amby asks Doc about where he hangs out in the online Dip world (0 mins 5 secs)
  • Kaner asks how Doc first got into Dip (2 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner observes how a number of school groups have started playing Dip online and asks Doc’s take on this (6 mins)
  • Everyone discusses what they’re drinking while recording - Doc: Hop Henge Deschutes Brewery strong IPA from Oregon; Kaner: Mercury Hard Cider from Tasmania; Amby: Fleur de Cap shiraz from South Africa and McGuigan Brothers Shiraz from “southern Australia” (7 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner asks Doc about why he and Amby never seem to get on in a game (10 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby gives his take on his poor gaming relationship with Doc (14 mins)
  • Doc talks about stabbing Amby again (19 mins)
  • Amby asks if his own playing style is too trusting. Doc talks about his general strategy (21 mins)
  • Kaner starts asking a question before Amby interjects and asks how Doc can humanly play 31 games at once (26 mins)
  • Amby asks about what skills from Diplomacy can be applied elsewhere (28 mins 45 secs)
  • Doc explains where his handle came from. Amby and Kaner discuss how they got their handles. They discuss having a thread about what the 406 in kaner406 stands for (30 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner gets to his planned question, asking about communication and Doc’s decision making on allying vs not allying (33 mins 30 secs)
  • They talk about playing a full press game of Mate Against Mate together (37 mins)
  • Kaner asks about Doc’s performance stats and whether there are any spectacular wins he’s had - Doc discusses a WWIV game on vDip (38 mins)
  • They discuss the Google Translate game they all played together 3 years ago (41 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about the tournaments Doc is in (45 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks how middling players in the Hall of Fame can lift their game. They go on to discuss how the ratings system could be improved (48 mins 15 secs)
  • The guys talk about their “What the Doctor Recommended” segment and the need to give it a refresh. Doc asks for more singing (54 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about how the Hall of Fame at webDip works really well with recent changes. Doc discusses how he’s catching up with RUFFHAUS in real life with their wives (57 mins)
  • Amby asks relationship advice from Doc and what she thinks of his habit (60 mins)
  • Kaner asks Doc if there are any other form of stats that could be applied beyond win-draw-survive-defeated (1 hr 2 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby notes how Doc has been playing many of the new variants that have come to vDip. He asks which of the new variants really interest him (1 hr 6 mins 30 secs)
  • Doc gives his top 3 favourite variants (1 hr 10 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby reflects on unit expectations and feedback from David E. Cohen on his original plans for his maps to not include transform options. Doc and Kaner talk about playing a 901 Known World game with a gentleman’s agreement on not transforming (1 hr 12 mins)
  • They start wrapping up the interview and ask Doc if he has any further comments (1 hr 16 mins)

Venue:  Sorry folks, no pub (interview only)

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Mercury Hard Cider from Tasmania

Amby - Fleur de Cap shiraz from South Africa and McGuigan Brothers Shiraz from “southern Australia”

Dr Recommended - Hop Henge Deschutes Brewery strong IPA from Oregon

Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. Or if you want to help improve the audio equipment - after listening to this episode's audio quality we're sure you'll agree you can donate at Patreon. Lastly, don't forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone!


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May 31, 2018

Better late than never

Amby fucked up. This was recorded over a month ago but with too much real life shit it's only going up now. Consider it a point in time episode as half the games discussed finished. But we guess its better to get it out anyway and try to get better. Good philosophy for Dip anyway! Apologies on the general drunkedness.


  • After a post-production issue the guys open at the Brewski, just down the road in Caxton St. The guys give their diplomacy drinks analysis  (0 mins 45 secs)
  • They move onto discussing all the new variants on vDip (although by the time this comes out, they'll probably be only new-ish). First up is the War of the Austrian Succession which Amby play listed at the Russian Diplolab (5 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner points out Amby has a fellow history buff in gopher, a vDip mod and player who has some ahistorical concerns with the variant and map (7 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby gives a Diplomacy player update about the Klemens von Metternich book he's reading. Kaner discusses the book he's started reading History of Eastern Europe by Vegas Gabriel Liulevicious (10 mins 15 secs)

Variant chat

  • Amby then discusses a podcast series he's just started: The History of England  by David Crowther and its connection with the Diplomacy variant Heptarchy (12 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner moves onto another book recommendation, Bernard Cornwell's The King Arthur Trilogy. The guys talk archery briefly (15 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner what happened to him creating variants before being distracted by a pigeon. Then Kaner gives his new variant idea set in post-apocalyptic New York. Amby gets further distracted in a post-apocalyptic zombie style discussion about his workplace , before Kaner gets back on track with his idea (18 mins)
  • Amby discusses his variant Ice Age that never got finished, but discusses how close it may in fact be.  (22 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner talks about the new Dev Tools on vDip which explains how Enriador has pumped out so many new variants (24 mins)
  • Then its back onto discussing the new recent variants including Machiavelli (25 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys go onto discuss recent games they've played (27 mins 45 secs)
  • Next up is a discussion on the new map Edwardian, interesting starting positions and cool little rules (29 mins 15 secs)

Belated around the grounds

  • The guys talk about their Divided States anon gunboat game - without giving away exactly who they are playing as. Amby discusses how open Technostar's board is, which makes it so hard to defend yourself effectively in without opening yourself up to a stab (35 mins 30 secs)
  • They look at a number of Divided States games and note how in almost all games New Mexico is doing very well and question whether that part of the map favors New Mexico too much (42 mins 20 secs)
  • The guys start getting their 4th drink and Kaner gives a blow by blow update on his phoenix progress as Japan in the ongoing WWIV “World Amazing” game (46 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby builds on Kaner’s approach about sending out love and it working, but when Amby does it he keeps getting stabbed (51 mins)
  • Amby tries a joke on Kaner, before they exchange barbs and jokes further - with the odd screw up on delivery due to drunkedness (57 mins 45 secs)
  • Back to Dip, Kaner talks about a CD position he took over for a game (1 hr 4 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby talks about the United States of Insanity II game he's in (1 hr 6 mins)
  • Amby asks Kaner about his new pussy cat (1 hr 9 mins)
  • They digress further onto other wildlife in Australia including wombats, tree kangaroos, drop bears, cane toads and spiders. They then discuss snakes, geckos and air conditioning (1 hr 12 mins 45 secs)
  • Back to Amby's Divided States game where he's playing in West Virginia, talk about excessive drinking (1 hr 17 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby discusses the Tournament of Time at PlayDip and his more limited than expected involvement in the 1812 Overture game before the drinking monster causes them to digress again. Amby thanks team mate BigJoe for stepping in due to poor internet and doing much better than he was doing  (1 hr 25 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby disparages the millennials behind them who are glued to their devices. Amby would post the photo except of an issue he'll mention next episode (1 hr 35 mins)
  • They very briefly talk about Amby's win in a Dutch Revolt game. They discuss how the borders and connections between territories aren't always clear (1 hr 36 mins 45 secs)

Venue: The Brewski, Brisbane.

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Dainton Red IPA from Victoria, Australia

Amby - Atze's corner shiraz from the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. Or if you want to help improve the audio equipment - after listening to this episode's audio quality we're sure you'll agree you can donate at Patreon. Lastly, don't forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone!


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Today we're going back, way back. 2004 and Kestas' creation of the code based that got WebDip, vDip, PlayDip and many more up and running. Plus a discussion on Bourse progress and the odd tangent or two.


  • The guys discuss Anzac Day in Australia and their family connections to Australia’s military participation (0 mins 10 secs)
  • Then it’s time to discuss their drinks and Caxton Street (6 mins 45 secs)

Interview with Kestas

  • Kestas talks about playing the game and why he’s not the guy to talk strategy: rather he enjoyed building the adjudicator and forum. He discusses how the community slowly built up in the early days (16 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about what issues arose during the early days of webDiplomacy (19 mins)
  • Amby asks where the first PHP diplomacy instance went live (20 mins 50 secs)
  • They discuss the rationale for why the code was made available as open source so others could download and share (22 mins 15 secs)
  • Kestas talks about when he does play Diplomacy,  how the game filled an itch when he was at university and why he doesn’t like Turkey (23 mins 15 secs)
  • Kestas gives a shout out to Alex who runs Italian Diplomacy (webDiplomacy.it), he goes onto discuss how he’s happy to be contacted by others wanting to create a new Dip server, particularly in a language other than English. He talks about the translation functionality that is used on webDiplomacy.it (25 mins 30 secs)
  • He goes onto to discuss what it feels to have his code so widely used. Kaner asks about whether Kestas would change anything if he had the chance again (27 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about how the adjudicator and code have been used for variants beyond Classic. He asks whether Kestas considered variants in the way the code was developed (31 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks whether Kestas has chatted much with admins from Diplomacy communities online beyond webDip (34 mins)
  • Kestas discusses his recent work on the webDip forum (36 mins)
  • He describes what he enjoyed most about the recent changes he’s made to webDip and the code (39 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks about how to best mitigate the use of hacks, and developing more cleaner code. Kestas gives a big hat tip for GitHub (41 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby raises how some forum based Dip games use more than two units as the current code doesn’t support three or more unit types. He asks Kestas whether the code could be expanded to support more than two units (44 mins 30 secs)
  • Then its Kestas’ ideas on how the code and forum could be improved further, including cross-server games (49 mins 30 secs)
  • Kestas clarifies how the relationship currently works with PlayDip (53 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks about the old-days of webDip’s forum and how it evolved (54 mins 30 secs)
  • Everyone goes off to get a new drink before Kestas asks the guys about where the podcast came from and Kaner & Amby’s involvement in the face to face scene (58 mins 30 secs)
  • Kestas is asked about when he recognised the need to introduce moderators to the community and why multi-accounters do what they do (1 hr 1 min)
  • Kaner asks about what happens when people offer to help (1 hr 6 mins)
  • Amby asks how people can get in touch with Kestas to contribute further to the code (we won't put it here in the notes so bots don't spam Kestas!) They explore Kestas’ cultural heritage (1 hr 7 mins 30 secs)
  • Wrapping up Kestas thanks the WebDip donors and mentions a new server upgrade is coming  (1 hr 9 mins 30 secs)

Thoughts on the interview

  • The guys discuss what came out of the interview they were surprised to here (1 hr 12 mins 30 secs)
  • They go onto discuss multi-accounters, gaming the system and opening the kimono (1 hr 14 mins 15 secs)
  • Then they offer for anyone caught multi-accounting, or thinking of multi-accounting, what their motivations were so they can come on for an interview  (1 hr 20 mins)
  • Next up is their discussion about having more than two units in Diplomacy variants - which would allow online New World Order, Dissolution and Nuclear Diplomacy. Amby then goes to town on possible unit types (1 hr 23 mins)
  • They discuss the benefits of cross-platform tournaments (1 hr 31 mins 30 secs)


  • After a new round of drinks the guys move onto discuss growlers and chat Bourse (1 hr 32 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby explains how he missed submitting his Bourse orders and how the strategy and value approach has totally changed compared to other Bourse games. They then talk shop about the game in progress (1 hr 34 mins 15 secs)

Wrapping up

  • Amby experiences the same “tech team” family issues that Kaner recently experienced (1 hr 50 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby then talks about his firepit and how he likes burning timber and cooking meat on the flame, before he gets distracted and starts talking about the film “Spies Like Us” and wrap up (1 hr 51 mins 45 secs)

Venue: Fitzenberger, Brisbane.

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - No Shoes Brews' Paradise Cit(rus)y - Saison/Farmhouse Ale from Brisbane, Queensland

Amby - Berg Rue Shiraz from Heathcote, Victoria

Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. Or if you want to help improve the audio equipment (or get us more drunk during episodes) you can donate too at Patreon. Lastly, don't forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone!

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April 7, 2018

Too many games

So many variants, so many games and too little time.


  • The guys planned to keep the “Shit Cake” theme going from last episode by going to a cake shop bar called “Cakes and Shit”, but it wasn’t that good. Instead they’re recording from the APO (1 min)
  • They discuss their drinks and announce the Diplomacy Games podcast, playDip, vDip and webDip have been featured in an article by Jason4747 in the Diplomacy World quarterly magazine (1 min 30 secs)
  • They digress a little and talk about playing Diplomacy by snail mail (7 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner has decided he’s no longer playing games with phase periods of 24 hours and less and explains why (9 mins)

Around the grounds

  • The guys slowly and informally segue into Around the grounds with Kaner discussing his Western Known World game. In addition to the problems with 24 hour phases he felt a little screwed on not being able to transform units, which Amby agrees particularly with Denmark’s opening position (10 mins 45 secs)
  • They move onto discussing the new variants rapidly popped out by Enriador at vDiplomacy including Canton Diplomacy, 1913 and Renaissance 1453. They talk a little about these new variants and their thoughts on them (14 mins 10 secs)
  • Then it’s onto the next variant Enriador is working on - Machiavelli (22 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby then starts lamenting about how he’s involved in too many games (23 mins 30 secs)
  • He discusses the War of Austrian Succession game he’s currently in that looks like its wrapping up.  This variant has been developed by Safari (25 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby then goes onto lament his terrible opening in the 1812 Overture play-by-forum game at PlayDip, which is part of NoPunin10did’s team based Tournament of Time (28 mins 30 secs)
  • He goes on to discuss the communication impact of being away camping and trying to keep up with 1812 discussions while away and how Slack is used to manage conversations (33 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses the sunset from where they are, before Amby shows some of the sunset photos he took while away camping, including a special guest appearing (37 mins 40 secs)
 Original photo of sunset at Moogerah  Jesus at Lake Moogerah during the Passion Play
 Original photo the guys discuss: sunset at Lake Moogerah  After Kaner's comment, Amby shows him this pic from the Moogerah Passion Play
  • The guys get back to Around the Grounds and discuss what happened with the cancelled Divided States game “United States of Insanity” (40 mins 15 secs)
  • They discuss the retry of the game, although Kaner has been smarter by not overcommitting himself. Kaner then goes onto show he is crap at American geography pretty much east of the Rockies (44 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner discovers the player with Michigan has even less American geographic knowledge than him. Amby discusses a similar problem (51 mins 45 secs)
  • Next it’s onto Kaner’s Divided States of ‘Murica game and how he’s going (52 mins 45 secs)
  • Then its the guys’ gunboat Divided States game, Kaner complains everyone is ganging up on him and Amby talks about his new strategy that so far is working well (54 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby gives an update as games master for the 1066 Tournament and a couple of complications he’s noticed (58 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys move onto The Bowery and grab some new drinks - Kaner’s got a Bulimba Gold Top from Brisbane, Amby gives a couple of Australian beer stories and tries his Paxton MV organic shiraz rom the McLaren Vale, South Australia (1 hour 5 mins)
  • Amby gives Kaner further US geography lessons before a Sesame Street throw back (1 hour 9 mins)
  • Next up its Bourse time! (1 hour 11 mins)
  • Kaner gives the analogy that organising Dip players to agree on how the Bourse will be run is like herding cats. Amby shares a video about herding cats before Kaner tells a cat story about Mrs Kaner (1 hr 13 mins)
  • Amby thinks Kaner’s cat comments are part of a joke and starts delivering his own back log of jokes (1 hr 17 mins 45 secs)
  • Back to Bourse for a bit (1 hr 19 mins 30 secs)

Amby’s new variant ideas

  • Kaner drives Amby up the wall before they go around in circles before grabbing another drink (1 hr 28 mins 45 secs)
  • They sort themselves out before Amby starts discussing his new variant ideas (1 hr 31 mins 30 secs)
  • He starts by introducing how Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast series about the 1848 revolutions inspired him to consider an Italian variant based on Risorgimento (Italian unification) and how a well balanced variant could be created using the Renascimento map (1 hr 32 mins)
  • Next up is Amby’s thoughts based on the Inward Empire podcast on a 1 vs 1 variant based on a slightly changed Divided States map based on the 1877 Great Strikes with a capital/establishment player vs a labor/working man’s player and how railways could criss cross continent. Kaner likes this variant idea and makes a good suggestion on the rail network (1 hr 35 mins 45 secs)
  • Then its a 1 vs 1 “Operation Sealion” variant with Nazi Germany against the UK battling it out over Great Britain and the coastline around the North Sea and English Channel. They briefly discuss the concept of three unit types: armies, navies and airforce, before doing a bit of a prick tease about their upcoming interview (1 hr 41 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner explains his planetary diplomacy ideaAmby mentions all his other variant ideas backing up: Roman Crisis of the Third Century, Napoleon 1 vs 1 (France vs the Sixth Coalition), Ninjas vs Samurai, Ice Age, Global Warming and Two Tribes (1984 1 vs 1 Cold War) and introduces the idea of taking a step back from actually doing all the code. Kaner talks about his five player Solar System variant while making amusing gestures to describe how it’d work (1 hr 45 mins)
  • Amby goes further into his plan to be more a creative ideas director and let other variant creators massage it a bit and bring it to life (1 hr 46 mins 15 secs)

Now the scene is set…

  • Amby looks at what types of games players are in, and reflects maybe the guys should be spending more time on Classic Diplomacy games and strategy (1 hr 49 mins)
  • They then suggest we go out to the Dip community on what works well for each of the seven countries during the opening, mid-game and end-game. Kaner argues with Amby about the Tyrolean/Alpine Chicken, before suggesting they go alphabetically and kick things off with Austria (1 hr 51 mins)
  • Kaner gives a brief film review of “Ready Player One”. Kaner gives a shout out about Honest Trailers on Youtube (1 hr 55 mins)
  • Amby discusses CaptainMeme’s Youtube video about the longest game of Diplomacy ever on his DiploStrat channel. It starts with a 9 minute video about this Pacifist Diplomacy themed game (1 hr 58 mins)

Patreon shoutouts!

  • Both jason4747 and nopunin10did have both generously donated to the show using our Patreon account to help get better audio equipment you can donate too at Patreon and choose to donate for better audio gear or buying drinks! (1 hr 59 mins 30 secs)

The last couple of things

Venue: The APO and then the Bowery, Brisbane.

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Peroni lager from Italy and Little Creature's Roger's amber ale from Western Australia and Bulimba Gold Top ale from Brisbane

Amby - The APO Shiraz from McLaren Vale in South Australia and Paxton MV organic shiraz from the McLaren Vale also

Thanks as always to Rock'n Dr Dan for the intro music!

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The guys keep the drinking going and Diplomacy chats rolling on Bourse, variant testing and a Conspiracy app update. Plus the odd history lesson from Amby and discussion on shit cake.


  • Kaner discusses how CaptainMeme and a few webDip folks recently hosted a live vidcast of an online Dip game (0 mins 30 secs)
  • They get around to introducing the Euro restaurant and their drinks. Amby gets a bit carried away with his wine and shares a story about his brother-in-law's bad drinking habits and how Mrs Amby's sister put in place a system to stop him drinking the expensive stuff (5 mins)

Diplomacy Chat

  • They start discussing the upcoming Bourse game. Amby gives his thoughts on Sealanes games and why he's shit at them (13 mins)
  • Amby shares another story, this time about shit cake (18 mins 45 secs)
  • Then its back to Kaner's learnings from the last Bourse and how he's going to correct that for the new Bourse game (20 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby discusses YCHTT's suggestion of a proper market driven by supply and demand for the Bourse and why he loves the idea (26 mins)
  • The guys pop upstairs to the Laneway Bar to find no-one there. Instead they've walked a block further to the Port Office Hotel (33 mins 30 secs)Former Queensland colonial naval yard across the river
  • Amby describes how on the way to the Port Office Hotel, he managed to give Kaner a history lesson about the former Queensland colonial naval dockyards (see photo.) Amby explains why he knows a heap of irrelevant shit due to an attempt to write an alternative history novel, and how the never completed novel was the inspiration for the Mate Against Mate variant (34 mins)
  • A small impromptu "this week in Australian politics" segment (39 mins)
  • The guys give a drinks update (41 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner asks about Amby's involvement in some test games at the Diplomail Lab including another Austrian Succession game. Amby describes how he adopted a different strategy which is working well (42 mins)
  • Then its onto the test game of the Mongolian Empire variant - created by Kaner but being advanced by other developers now. They discuss the impact of the bubonic plague on the game where a rapid die-off of units happens at the end of the first game year's build phase. They talk about other historical aspects of the variant and really interesting elements of the game including city states, rivers/bridges, trade winds and silk roads, Himalayan passes and the Great Wall of China (49 mins 30 secs)
  • After Kaner gets a tech support call from Mrs Kaner, the guys return to the Conspiracy app. Kaner talks about his first full press game ending up in a 4 way draw as Austria. He talks about side chat rooms and how they operate really easily. That said communicating can take a while with the amount of texting required. They discuss again getting the French app developers on the show (1 hr 2 mins)
  • The guys start wrapping things up. They discuss whether people interested in donating to the show with Patreon would prefer better audio or more drunkedness (1 hr 8 mins 45 secs)

Venue: Euro Restaurant and then the Port Office Hotel, Brisbane.

Drinks of choice:
Kaner - Estrella lager from Barcelona, Spain and Little Creature's Roger's amber ale from Western Australia
Amby - Marcelo Pelleriti Sol fa Soul malbec from Mendoza, Argentina and SC Parnell tempranillo from the Adelaide Hills

And thanks as always to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

Don't forget you can now donate to the show (for better audio or drunker episodes) by going to our Patreon page.

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The guys interview Technostar, creator of the "Divided States" variant and discuss their in-game experience with it so far.


Interview with Techostar, creator of "Divided States"

  • Kaner starts giving a bit of an intro about the interview with Technostar (8 mins) 
  • Amby welcomes Technostar and asks him about him getting into Diplomacy and what he likes most about the game (0 mins 25 secs)
  • Amby asks about Technostar's gameplay philosophy (3 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner asks about Technostar's strong position in his WWIV sealanes game - World-Amazing (5 mins)
  • Techostar explains how being at school helps him play a lot of games, but has the difficulty of his school blocking vDip! (6 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner asks about Technostar's love of larger maps and how that led him toward developing the Divided States variant and map. Technostar and Kaner discuss a WWIV game they're both playing in (8 mins)
  • Kaner discusses the geography of the map and why Technostar arranged it that way (11 mins 30 secs)
  • They go onto talk about the rapid speed that two games of Divided States filled up (that's 100 playing slots!) - they talk about the United States of Insanity game that they're all in (13 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby asks about NMR's, while Technostar introduces how the build phases works for the starting phase if a player NMRs and their position isn't filled (15 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner discusses the coding and asks about the program used to create the map and whether Techno is insane for taking on a project of this magnitude. Techno touches on a "gotcha" about when creating the map files and how indexed mode works to ensure it can be run on php Diplomacy servers (18 mins 10 secs)
  • Techo goes onto discussing how he had to cut down on the number of territories and how we redrew the map again to further improve the balance (20 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks Techno on his thoughts on the initial opening moves in the current games (22 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby laments his bad start before discussing the mysteries of the Four Corner Alliance and Technostar's involvement in this as a player. He discusses the fear of large local players Texas and California and creating a block to prevent their growth (23 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby discusses his ongoing stabbing relationship with Dr Recommended. Technostar talks about a similar challenging relationship he seems to have with Mr Finkelmeyer (28 mins)
  • Kaner interjects, as an East Coast player (Connecticut), he discusses how he had no idea about the West Coast action going on and the Four Corners Alliance. Techno describes how he was inspired by some of the colors on the Monopoly board to inform his decisions on state colors (29 mins)
  • Kaner asks about how Technostar ended up deciding on creating a Divided States variant and the inspirations behind: the 2016 election, alternate history and a Civilization V map he created (31 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby asks about why Technostar didn't decide to start initially with a small variant map to see what he thought of variant development. Techno touches on New World Order being a bigger map than Divided States - a variant created by Tom Rheinecker - before they discuss the rule challenges behind that map that would make it impossibble to make web based without a very deep php skillset (33 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner asks Technostar on his advice for budding variant developers, including creating his own test server (36 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby enquires if Technostar could turn back time would there be anything he'd change. Techno answers how he could've easily saved 3 months by doing something differently (39 mins)
  • Kaner asks Techno his thoughts on Divided States moving to webDip or playDip (40 mins 40 secs)
  • Next its on to Techno's views of variant developers using his map to create new variant versions. They go onto discuss a 1 vs 1 Red State vs Blue State civil war map and the challenges of setting orders for 100+ units each turn. Techno also talks about an idea he has on layering state names on top of the map or a compiled list of each territory abbreviation to its correct name (42 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks if Techo had more time and turned his attention to a new variant what he'd do. Techno discusses getting a better php knowledge and porting across New World Order (48 mins)
  • Technostar mentions a fun fact about drawing a map location where he was staying during his summer vacation. Techno talks about how Amby's Mate Against Mate variant acted as a bit of an inspiration for Divided States and how he used its non-occupied SCs in the variant (49 mins)
  • Kaner asks about the prospect of Fog of War on the map (54 mins)
  • Technostar asks Kaner about whether a new Bourse game could happen soon. Kaner runs with the idea and decides to make it happen, possibly on a War War IV sealanes map (59 mins)
  • They get back onto Divided States and bounce around a bit on the design considerations of the map (1 hour 8 mins)
  • Techno lets loose with his views about American state flags, a few bugs that have been picked up and his hopeful career path (1 hour 14 mins 45 secs)

The guys return from the interview, but with all the editing and Amby's crap maths, we haven't worried about the timestamps for this next section. It goes about 30 mins. If you made it this far, power on!

  • The guys discuss what they learnt from the interview. Kaner reflects that they're technologically incompetent compared to the kids these days. Amby loves the parallel between his school banning vDip and his work banning all Dip sites.
  • Then its onto reflecting on Technostar giving his thumbs up to the map and code being available for anyone to repurpose and create new variant versions. They then discuss though the potential headache of a 1 vs 1 Divided States game with 100+ orders needed each turn
  • The guys go onto talk about their experience to date in their Divided States games - Divided States of 'Murica and United States of Insanity before mentioning their Divided States gunboat game has just started
  • Then Kaner and Amby become introspective about whether they are a bad influence
  • Bourse 2018 - the great Bourse Challenge - is discussed by Kaner

Venue: Buffalo Bar, Brisbane.

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Five Seeds Cider from some random location in Australia

Amby - Marty's Block Tempranillo  from the Margaret River, Western Australia

And thanks as always to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast. And don't forget you can now donate to the show (better audio, or more drunk episodes) by going to our Patreon page.

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January 30, 2018

Summer Diplomacy

The guys discuss the cool Android app "Conspiracy",  recent Diplomacy variants being tested and talk shop.


  • NEXT Pool Terrace and BarThe guys introduce the NEXT Hotel Pool Terrace and Bar, discuss the weather, Kaner's take on the book about the Trump administration in "Fire and Fury" and move onto their drinks (0 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby talks about his first ever time as tournament director for the 1066 tournament at vDip. He then goes onto discuss how the tournament is being organized and his thoughts on having access to the Mods area  (5 mins 45 secs)

Around the Grounds and general Dip chat

  • Kaner talks about how he's going in his WWIV Sea Lanes game (13 mins)
  • They think the background noises might be too loud and decide to go to another bar - that being said when Amby edited the podcast... it sounded perfectly fine! They then address Dr Recommended latest recommendation for them to sing more often (15 mins 30 secs)
  • Ryan's on the ParkThe guys move to Ryan's on the Park as the Irish Murphy's Bar had really bad acoustics. Amby talks semantics about what a "hotel" is in Australia (17 mins 50 secs) 
  • The guys talk about their second lot of drinks and chat about their Christmas day (21 mins)
  • Amby opens his Around the Grounds on his Pirates game. A player is dangerously close to soloing in this winner take all game. He discusses how the game is going  (24 mins)
  • Next up is the Tournament of Time over at PlayDip. Amby goes onto discuss how this tournament is working and the current Ambition and Empire game and its use of the collaboration platform Slack to manage messaging. Amby's team member (Big Joe) is playing for the team as Denmark-Norway (29 mins)
  • Kaner then discusses the free Android app "Conspiracy" which is pretty much Diplomacy for your smart phone. The guys give it a big wrap but also talk about how it could be improved particularly around the issues of community and people NMRing and CDing. Here's some screen shots from Kaner's game interface (32 mins)

Main screen of Conspiracy

Conspiracy profile screen

Conspiracy screen shotKaner's profile pic in ConspiracyKaner's finished gamesWhen setting ordersProviding support











  • The guys talk about whether they should run some donation option for the podcast before some more drinks and belated tasting notes (52 mins)
  • Amby discusses his now completed test game of "Punic Wars" at the Diplomail Lab playing as the Greeks. He discusses while he won, it was an incredibly challenging map and reflects on the knife-fighting game play of the Russian players (55 mins)
  • Then he goes into discuss his role in the War of Austrian Succession play test also at the Diplomail Lab. Amby is playing as Piedmont-Sardinia and is also enjoying this map and variant. It follows pretty much standard Dip rules but in the first year players are limited in the number of armies they have even though they have more SCs that can support more units. That said if they retain their starting SCs they can build in the second year. Its got some wacky borders too. Amby discusses the "Borders" book Kaner gave him at Christmas (59 mins)
  • Next its onto the Western World 901 variant being tested in the Diplomail Lab. Its based on the map by David E Cohen but is focused around Europe, north Africa and the north west bits of the Middle East. None of the guys are in this test game but they talk about the variant anyway before a second hat tip to Dr Recommended's singing suggestion, before a tangent about the new Star Wars movie before degenerating into an argument about Leia (1 hour 8 mins)
  • Kaner asks Amby about how his variant development plan are going (1 hour 17 mins)
  • Kaner gets very excited at the prospect of "Divided States" being released (1 hour 20 mins)
  • After a brain lapse from Kaner he discusses the prospect of an American Civil War/Mexico variant on the Conspiracy app. Amby suggests perhaps it will be the Fall of the American Empire variant (1 hr 28 mins)
  • The guys give a shout out to cjuric for his awesome review of the podcast at iTunes. They strongly encourage you to pop over to iTunes and give it 5 stars (1 hr 30 mins)


Venue: NEXT Hotel Pool Terrace and Bar, Brisbane followed by Ryan's on the Park

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Mountain Goat Ale from Richmond, Victoria and the Little Creatures "Roger's" Pale Ale from Western Australia

Amby - Cape Mentelle Marmaduke shiraz  from the Margaret River, Western Australia and the Shottesbrooke grenache, shiraz and mourvedre (GSM) from McLaren Vale in South Australia

And thanks as always to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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December 23, 2017

A Very Diplomacy Christmas

It's Christmas time! The guys exchange Diplomacy related presents, talk variants in development, the Kaner & Amby Book Club and the Colonial 1885 variant.


  • The guys introduce the Osbourne Hotel in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley and their drinks  (0 mins 05 secs)
  • Amby explains the last podcast was late due to work business and then going on holiday. The guys then discuss their planned holidays including Amby's trip late 2018 to North America (2 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how the mobile interface is now starting to get rolled out to webDip. Amby talks about the different nature of the forums across vDip webDip and playDip (7 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner also talks about zultar's prize giveaway for Christmas at webDip (9 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby and Kaner give an update on the new variants in development, starting with the massive 50 player Divided States variant (11 mins)
  • Amby then shows Kaner the beta test game of Punic Wars over at the Diplomail Lab he's playing. The guys then discuss their thoughts on the variant (14 mins 30 secs)
  • Then its onto the early work being done on the Reconquista variant where the Spanish attempt to reconquer the Muslim territories of the Iberian Peninsula. This is being worked on by CCR and Benjamin Hester. Kaner compares the Variant Bank crappy map to the latest map currently in development. They then discuss the mathematics of balance in variants (19 mins 55 secs)
  • Then its onto Napoleonic 1 vs 1 (France against the Sixth Coalition - Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia & Sweden), the Ottomans weren't involved but will be on the map with standing neutral armies. Amby announces he's actually developing this variant after a long break from variant development using the great work done originally by Firehawk. Amby says he hasn't worked out yet whether it should be based on players choosing the units to build, or whether he sets the units and their location (27 min 50 secs)
  • Amby then says he's exploring the coding aspects of what is needed to create the variant Sengoku: Ninjas vs Samurai (36 mins 55 secs)

Around the Grounds

  • The guys on to discuss how players are approaching things with whether to build clippers or frigates in Pirates. Amby discusses what's been happening so far in this anonymous game called "Pirate's Life". He flags there seems to be some technical glitch with some moves (40 mins)
  • Then its back to more alcohol talk about making wine and brewing beer and how expensive alcohol is getting in Australia (44 mins)
  • Kaner then talks around a variant concept originating a long while ago from Oli about a Randomly generated map (48 mins)
  • Amby reflects on the mess on the Pirates map where many players are moving in relatively small territories, often making it hard to read. He then makes some excuses why he won't be changing it though (50 mins)
  • Amby then discusses the now finished 1066 game he played against Oli and Tadar es Darden, won by Tadar. Amby flags how the game could have gone either way but experienced technical problems in trying to convey the message to extend the turn. Kaner makes a suggestion which Amby should've done (52 mins)
  • Kaner then discusses his WWIV game that has now started and asks abut the strategy of holding back builds (55 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner then talks about his camping plans (1 hour 5 mins 30 secs)

Variant review: Colonial 1885

  • The guys discuss Amby's recent drawn 1885 game. He played this anon WTA game as Italy and did well enough to be part of the draw. He talks about his allies throughout the game and his approach to get to the end game (1 hr 6 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby then goes onto discuss the variant itself and his thoughts about it, particularly how Britain can do very well in this variant although he was eliminated in this game (1 hr 12 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby gives Kaner a history lesson about German New Guinea (1 hr 15 mins)

Christmas, Kaner & Amby's Book Club and other Dip stuff

  • Amby is taking on the role of tournament director for a 9 player 1066 tournament (1 hr 19 mins)
  • The guys exchange Diplomacy related Christmas presents including many evil laughs from Kaner (1 hr 22 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby brings up the Year in Review - by playing a little game with Kaner on who are the top 10 countries downloading the podcast. Warning: bad accent attempts and a very surprising number 10! (1 hr 30 mins)
  • The guys then discuss the books they've read this year that have a Diplomacy connection. Kaner suggests "Borders: A Very Short Introduction" and "The Origins of Political Order". Amby discusses "Theodore Rex",  "Musashi" and "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations". He goes onto to say he plans to read "Guns, Germs & Steel" next year. Kaner recommends "Collapse" by the same author (Jarred Diamond). They also mention "Sapiens" and "Cro-Magnon" (1 hr 37 mins)
  • All this stone age discussion gets the guys thinking about the possibility of a Stone Age variant (1 hr 51 mins)

Venue: Osbourne Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Boston Lager "presumably from Boston" according to Kaner

Amby - Some Young Punks "Naked on Rollerskates" Shiraz Matro from the Clare Valley, South Australia and The Stag "St Hubert's" Shiraz from the Yarra Valley, Victoria


Don't forget to give the podcast a great rating on iTunes or Stitcher, it'll help get the message out about Diplomacy.

And thanks as always to Dan Philip for his rockin' intro to the Diplomacy Games podcast.

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December 17, 2017

Diplomacy Chats & Boozy Rants

The guys get into some serious Diplomacy chats and boozy rants covering new variants, Dip news on the web, current games (including a special guest!) & mouth off about a range of Dip topics.


  • The guys introduce Riverland - a bar based around shipping containers - and their excellent view before describing their drinks (0 mins 05 secs)

View from Riverland, a bar in Brisbane

  • We have received feedback that the last podcast was a bit too quiet. Amby apologies and also mentions that things have been busy for Kaner which has caused a bit of a gap between podcasts (2 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys discuss the new mobile interface at vDip and discuss plans for it to be rolled out on webDip (5 mins)
  • They go onto discuss how vDip players can now also change the look and feel of the site from the old world feel of vDip and the webDip look (8 mins 15 secs)
  • Next up they discuss new and revived variants. Amby describes how we was keen to play Imperium, a variant based on the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire, but it had been taken down due to bugs. And then out of nowhere, Oli fixed it! Kaner describes how the River rule works and how some of the coding changes to Pirates flowed onto Imperium. All players begin with no supply centres and need to grab the available Roman SCs. Amby discusses the challenges of this variant if you were playing gunboat. Amby then rides his historical hobby horse on whether the Eastern Roman Empire should have been included in the variant.  (9 mins 30 secs)
  • On top of this a revised version of Sengoku called Sengoku: Nagashino, created by Benjamin Hester. The variant goes from 8 players to 5, and has a new set of rules around the coastal areas regarding convoying (15 mins 30 secs)
  • Then they discuss how Flame in the Diplomail Lab is developing a 4 player Punic Wars variant based around the central Mediterranean during the classical period. Some folks have commented that the game play is a little similar to Sail Ho II. Amby goes on another pathetic historical bent around the geography of the map. Amby gives another shout out to the History of Rome podcast (21 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how Reddit is show casing WebDip which is a great way of getting more folks aware of the game and playing it online (25 mins)
  • Amby also mentions how Lifehacker had a story about Diplomacy (although it was more board related) (29 mins)
  • Amby also discusses a series of Diplomacy blog posts by Edwin Turnage which are very insightful  (30 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk a bit more about cider and the podcast intro music (33 mins)

Around the Grounds

  • Kaner is just in one game at the moment, a WWIV sea lanes game using rulebook press. Kaner teaches Amby about what rulebook press means. Kaner gives a run down of the players, with a number of newbies around him where he's playing as Japan (35 mins)
  • Kaner then goes on to discuss his recently finished Known World 901 Tourney game 6 where ended in a draw as Turan. Kaner is frustrated about the stalemate line being broken at the end of the game and discusses a decision made by mouse as Wagadu that he wasn't happy about. Basically the issue related to throwing a game to better position yourself more broadly in the tournament scores. The guys give their general perspectives on the tournament  (39 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby is in 5 games at the moment. He talks about the anonymous Pirates game he's in with the rule change for clipper retreats working well with no glitches (52 mins 30 secs)
  • He's also in Known World games 7 and 8 but is on a slippery slope in both. He admits he NMRed in these games and how it impacts badly on your strategy (55 mins)
  • Amby then reflects on all 5 games he's in are anonymous, and ponders the advantages and disadvantages of playing anonymously. Kaner discusses how some players can still identify who players are based on the way they play, write and other traits. Kaner accuses Amby of double standards (57 mins 30 secs)
  • Next up is Amby's recently finished game Napoleonic communication skills where he played as Spain and scored a draw. Amby gives a blow by blow account of the game from his perspective and how a strong Russia (played by LovelyPinkEgg) was prevented from winning a solo with a cessation of hostilities with Britain (played by slypups) and how Mr. Finkelmuiyer was a great ally in Italy (1 hour 2 mins 30 secs)
  • Finally Amby talks about the 1066 game Welcome back Tadar. Tadar Es Darden was the co-creator of 1066 with Amby and dropped off the vDip radar many years ago. Well he's now back and is playing this game with Amby and one other player: vDip's very own admin, Oli. This is in fact only the 2nd game Oli has played on the site (the other being when 1066 was launched in 2011) (1 hour 9 mins)
  • Kaner announces that gopher is now a Mod at vDip. The guys discuss having him on for an interview and reflect on the lack of recent interviews (1 hr 14 mins 40 secs)
  • The guys share a couple of jokes (1 hr 20 mins)

Online Diplomacy Pet Peeves

  • We've already discussed Kaner's pet peeve, so Amby talks about in the Pirates game he's in. A player CD'ed and held no supply centres, but during the build phase a new player bought in, even though it meant guaranteed elimination. They talk about why a player would do this and as a result whether this is a ethical practice. Kaner explains that it may not have the benefit the new player hoped for (1 hr 29 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby talks about the original intent of this segment and how the feedback from players don't require an admin's perspective (1 hr 36 mins 30 secs)
  • They next discuss the pet peeve of players getting angry with you when you stab, but get onto the stab wagon issue (1 hr 37 mins 40 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner whether a Mod could do some analysis around the behavior of new players and their drop out rates. That way if there's a high drop out rate perhaps they need more education up front about the stabbing nature of the game and what to be prepared for. Kaner suggests perhaps a basic welcome guide. Amby suggests some user centered design, getting feedback from new players about their experience and what they in retrospect would like to have known before playing a game. He goes on to suggest as new players need to provide an email address, perhaps an email auto-responder could send them some info to prepare for games and the community  (1 hr 46 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys discuss their own thoughts on the "sense of joy" of stabbing players before wrapping things up (1 hr 53 mins 30 secs)

Venue: Riverland, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Hills Creek Cider from the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Amby - Kurtz Family Vineyard "Seven Sleepers 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. Also, if you know how to help boost up the audio levels please contact the guys through DiplomacyGames.com.

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

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