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


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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October 27, 2017

Wild Ride Diplomacy talk



The guys go to another fancy pants drinking joint and jump from one Dip topic to another. Get ready for a wild ride talking rule changes to the Pirates variant and other variant development, around the grounds, the Viking variant and surrendering.


  • The guys introduce the Cloakroom bar, while the bartender joins them to serve orders in the JFK Room and educate the guys on glasses. This is the first time Kaner grabbed a glass of red instead of beer or cider. Plus they get a mouth cleanser rosé with ouzo spritzer and chilled towels! (0 mins 30 secs)
  • Oli at vDip has delivered on the money fixing a major problem in the Pirates variant Amby created. He then gives a quick overview of the dynamics of the game and Oli's coding change. As discussed in the podcast there are two types of units: frigates that move normally but attack with double strength and clippers that have normal attacking strength but can move two places. The change relates to a retreating clipper that now will retreat only 1 space, not 2 spaces, which all too often resulting in dislodged units retreating easily behind an enemies' lines (4 mins 30 secs)
  • With that retreating rule, it means the same can now be implemented in Chaoctopi and Germany 1648. It will also allow Amby's Ninjas vs Samurai 1-on-1 variant (8 mins)
  • Western Known World 901 map is currently in development at the Diplomail Lab. Its similar to half the usual KW901 map but with some other changes (10 mins 15 secs)
  • After another cheers they move onto talk about Napoleonic variant being live and the Sengoku version 2 progressing along well (11 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby talks about his ideas about having a 1066 tournament and asks Kaner's thoughts (13 mins)

Around the grounds

  • The guys each talk about their dismal performance in their respective games trying out the new Balkans 1860 variant. You can see their dismal performances at: Kaner's game and Amby's game (17 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner gives a shout out to cjurick (sorry Amby may have written that down wrong - let us know!) after he got in touch saying he regularly listens to the podcast and enjoys it (19 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby clarifies he in fact is not playing in round 3 of the Online Diplomacy Championship due to serial NMRing (21 mins 40 secs)
  • He then goes onto discuss the Dissolution game he got eliminated in at PlayDip and how despite being removed from the board he, and other eliminated players could still allocate favor votes for the non-playing nuclear players. Amby talks about his sharing the love strategy (22 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby mentions how the 1898 variant being put together by Flame at the Diplomail Lab follows a similar approach to the Age of Empires rule over at PlayDip (25 mins 40 secs)
  • Kaner then asks about Amby's poor performance in the WWIV Furnance of Affliction game (26 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby flags an anon game he's in where a number of players are wanting a draw, it appears to be stalemated but another player is holding out. He asks Kaner about the process for how things like this get resolved. Amby also discusses examples in the past where he's played games where a player has held out as part of a strategy, where a bigger player in a gunboat is holding out hoping the other bigger players pick up the message to kill off the smaller players so they could share in a draw with the big players getting a bigger share of the pot (30 mins 15 secs)

The Viking Diplomacy variant + Online Pet Peeves

  • Kaner starts talking about a Viking game he recently won, but discusses how he was driven up the wall by a player who appeared to have given up and was just putting hold orders in (not even self supporting) but would come back in put in retreat and disband orders. This is similar to a Pet Peeve submitted by Traumatizer to the forum thread. Kaner throws in some #BadSportsmanship rants (35 mins 20 secs)
  • Amby talks about how Kaner brought the Viking Diplomacy variant to the community 3 or 4 years ago. They discuss the map and how you can convoy armies down rivers using code hacks. It also includes interesting twists with self-supporting neutral armies in a couple of strategic places on the board. Plus the balance between players is excellent and player positioning makes things really challenging. Kaner gives Amby a language and geography lesson (41 mins 40 secs)
  • Due to a segue point Amby asks Kaner if anything is happening with the Mongolian Diplomacy variant at the Diplomail Lab. Kaner says Tristan is currently doing work on it which he's more than happy to have happen (49 mins)
  • Amby convinces Kaner to sign up to the Pirates game (52 mins 30 secs)
  • The good folks at the Cloakroom misunderstood Amby's visual cue for two more red wines, and thought he meant two more folks arrived. So the guys got more cool towels, more Rose and Ouzo spritzer and then their reds (53 mins 40 secs)

Surrender option?

  • The guys got an email through the website from Bosch Dewalt about the idea of a Surrender button. Amby initially thought the Concede button achieves this, but the concept of how a Surrender function may work better if you don't want to play anymore and it automatically puts your units into hold (55 mins 20 secs)
  • They go onto discuss how the downside of this would be players could protect their NMR rating but this could be a bad thing. Players may want a game where other players are of a high calibre and won't throw a game. Having "surrender" could ruin this, unless it was part of the mix when creating a game on reliability ratings: maybe a half penalty or another method? (59 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys agree its got merit, although Amby and Kaner say they probably wouldn't click it for their own different reasons (1 hr 1 mins)

Other stuff

  • They segue onto a discussion about Diplomacy based publications with Kaner saying he owns a copy of "The Game of Diplomacy" by Richard Sharp and a board games novelette from Playboy which featured Diplomacy (1 hr 3 mins... they talk about it again 5 mins later too when Kaner says you can find it on the internet in PDF)
  • Mrs Kaner segue discussion (1 hr 5 mins)
  • Amby is trying to line up an interview with Oli from vDip, so if you're a vDipper get in touch so we can put your question ideas in the mix (1 hr 6 mins 20 secs)


Venue: The Cloakroom Bar, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner & Amby - Rosé and Ouzo spritzer, followed by the The Other Wine Company grenache from McLaren Vale, 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.

Play Now
September 27, 2017

The new Dip variant Renaissance

A new Diplomacy variant Renaissance dawns! The guys talk about all the new variants coming down the pipeline at vDip, "Balkans 1860", wrap up the recent massive Bourse game and talk Online Dip Pet Peeves about metagaming.

The new Dip variant Renaissance!

  • BIg news at vDip with variant development ramping up.  The guys declare a new Renaissance while Kaner reflects on many vDip players probably never on the site when it was pumping variants out every week or two (3 mins)
  • Oli is updating the code base at vDip and is in contact with nopunin10did about bringing the 1900 variant across. Kaner then goes on to say that following the Balkans variant release, the Napoleonic variant is next to come to vDip. How fucking awesome! (4 mins)
  • Amby gives his take on a slight tweak to the Napoleonic variant at the greatest extent of Napoleon's reach. Amby reflects it would be very unbalanced but would be historically correct. The guys then go on to discuss whether you could do it as a 1 v 1 game with France vs the Sixth Coalition. Kaner then goes on to discuss how much even better the map would be if it included Egypt and northern Africa. Amby then gives Kaner a history lesson on why Napoleon invaded Egypt. Kaner then educates Amby about the Mamluks... don't worry they get back to Diplomacy eventually! (7 mins)
  • Then its onto more variants coming down the pipeline! Kaner delves into Flame's Lab at Diplomail about the variant Classic Home Retreats. This is a really clever sounding variant. If dislodged you can only retreat backwards, not forwards.  (12 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner attempts to break news on two variants which Amby quickly puts in him in his place on the Classic Calhamer Prototype/Realpolitik and a tweak to Pirates (15 mins 15 secs)
  • After a quick battery change Kaner goes on to quickly touch on the Troy variant... but doesn't know much about it. He mentions quickly a Westeros variant at Diplomail's Lab, but flags Oli in the past has shied away from any variants that could be seen as breaching intellectual property ownership. Kaner then goes on to explain how code snippets developed and tested at the Diplomail Lab can then be ported across to vDip (20 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner also discusses how people can create their own Lab's to develop and test variants before porting them across to other sites like vDip (22 mins)
  • The guys then discuss even more variants in development, starting with Michael B's "World at War" variant set in WW2. Check out the draft map at Imgur (24 mins 45 secs)
  • They then go on to talk about Technostar's "Divided States" variant, a 50 player game where everyone is an American state after the US has fallen apart. It is a truly mind blowing map. Amby discusses how Canada and Mexico have also collapsed in this variant, but with neutral standing armies to prevent states bordering these countries growing too quickly. The variant comes with unit transform options to allow players to better move around, in addition to sea lanes (27 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys move on a little, with Amby discussing his tournament progress, while Kaner advises he's pulling out of the Known World tournament (34 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby's brain starts arguing with itself (36 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner then goes on to talk about games he's since signed up for (37 mins)
  • Then its back again to yet another variant in development, a 4 player game called the "Corsican Revolution" by Vauban (38 mins)
  • And before we know it, a revised Sengoku variant is on the books from Benjamin Hester. Amby thinks this is great, plus it'll make it so much easier for his "Ninjas vs Samurai" variant (40 mins)

Balkans 1860

  • This brand new variant by Benjamin Hester (he's also done the original Sengoku and Dark Ages), is a 7 player game set in the Balkan region of Europe. Amby tries remembering his Balkan history after a question from Kaner. Both of the guys have signed up for games of Balkans with Kaner in a gunboat game and Amby in a normal full press game (42 mins 45 secs)
  • In approaching a brand new map, the guys talk about their early strategy approaching this variant (45 mins)
  • Kaner and Amby disagree with each other on the nature of corner players on this new map (46 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys pick on Captainmeme before grabbing another drink (50 mins 45 secs)

Amby's proposed variant: The Crisis of the Third Century

  • Amby kicks things off with a flashback to his earlier idea about a Roman Empire based on the Tetrachy (in the 300's), but reflects in retrospect that it probably wouldn't allow for good conflict between players on the far west and far east (51 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby gives a shout out to the podcast "The History of Rome" where he got the idea about instead looking at the mid 200's, where for 50 years there was a period of great instability with generals declaring themselves emperor (around Britain, Germany, the Danube and Syria), the Senate anointing emperors, the Praetorian guard controlling emperor appointments at various stages, barbarians attacking from beyond Rhine, beyond the Danube and the Picts and also the Sassanid Persians attacking too (53 mins 30 secs)
  • Clearing things up for Kaner, Amby explains how he's trying to get gameplay balance and history right, with the Senate and the Emperor/Praetorian guard having units dispersed the empire. Kaner gives his take (again) on how he'd like to do it (1 hr)
  • Amby then goes on to describe the non-playing player for the variant: the Plague of Cyprian, which wipes out a random territory each game turn (1 hr 5 mins 30 secs)


The Bourse is over!

Furnice of Affliction WWIV game

  • The guys are in the same WWIV game and discuss how its going for them, including the "invading assholes" all around Kaner (1 hr 17 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner tries provoking Amby on his gameplay. After a while Amby goes on to discuss how he changed his strategy for this game compared to his normal gameplay... not attacking anyone (1 hr 21 mins)
  • Amby discusses how he decided to stab Kongo, which really didn't work out (1 hr 28 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about his safe refuge plan (1 hr 32 mins)

Online Dip Pet Peeves: Metagaming

  • Last episode we discussed NMRing and posted across vDip, webDip and playDip about players' pet peeves (1 hr 35 mins)
  • Amby forgot about getting the admins views on the issue, so we're not getting their take. But its ok as we don't really need their input on this one: Metagaming.  We touched on this in Episode 16. Kaner gives a quick run through for listeners about metagaming (1 hr 35 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys talk about ways to try to reduce the risk of metagaming before Kaner talks about his blocked player list (1 hr 41 mins)
  • Thanks to Benjamin Hester, GhostEcho and Warsmith for suggesting this topic and for their comments (1 hr 44 mins)

Other stuff

  • Amby flags how they received an email - but lost it - suggesting they cover off some of the Diplomacy aps on the internet (1 hr 45 mins)
  • Kaner does a shout out about getting different points of view on the podcast for folks interested in being interviewed on the show (1 hr 48 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby thanks AWanderingMoose for their first iTunes review and rating. 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 (1 hr 50 mins 30 secs)

Venue: Newstead Brewery, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Newstead "Out and a Bout" Pale Ale from Queensland
Amby - NBCo cabernet sauvignon from Victoria

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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The guys discuss how to develop a variant, introduce the new segment: online Diplomacy pet peeves and talk NMR's, interview Captainmeme: a player across vDip, webDip and PlayDip and talk about the Rat Wars variant. Phew! What a bumper episode!


  • The guys go ga-ga over the classiness of the speak-easy bar they're recording in today: Saville Row. Amby is in ecstasy with his glass of wine as they discuss it's a year since our first episode (15 secs)

How do you develop a variant?

  • Kaner starts discussing recent questions in the forums from MichaelB and Vauban about how do you create a Diplomacy variant (4 mins 15 secs)
  • MichaleB is looking at creating a global World War 2 variant. Kaner discusses at the time of recording he wasn't sure about starting positions and as a result getting the right balance vs historical accuracy (5 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby suggests the timeline of WW2 in best achieving historical accuracy and player balance would be around the time of maximum extent of the Axis powers, or just before it. Kaner also suggests depending on the positioning of sea territories around America you could slow down their engagement in the war (6 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner discusses how do you take an awesome map and prepare it for coding. A long time ago KingAtom who created Habelya posted on forum.webdiplomacy.net about what you need to do for map names, and color coding territories to upload them into a php Lab (10 mins)
  • After this you need to do some work in a Diplomacy Lab using its tools to identify where each territory is (which connections that location to the color of the territory), assign whether the territories are land, sea or coast, and create connections between territories. Provided you're following standard Dip rules this is a pretty straight forward process. Its only with special rules that you need a developer. Depending on the complexity you can either  (14 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby discusses how he really would love to see Versailles brought to vDip. We've discussed how awesome this variant is in other episodes. Having it implemented with its special rules for controlling two countries would be really handy if that code is re-used in other variants (18 mins)
  • Kaner discusses good variant development resources at Dip Pouch, Diplomatic Core and the Diplomacy Variant Bank - a couple of good articles about supply centre ratio to territories which you could easily find with a bit of Googling (20 mins)
  • He goes onto mention how a Dip Wiki could come back at some stage in the future which could help pull together even greater detail (21 mins)
  • Kaner brings up how he stumbled on an old archived game on the Diplomatic Core called War in 2020 by Jason Reiner, where using his Indiana Jones skills he reconstructed the variant and brought it to vDip. Jason says he made the map over 20 years ago, and is now looking at developing a Vietnam War variant  (21 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner likes the region and would like to create a Khmer Empire game also set in the region, but understandably hundreds of years earlier (26 mins)
  • The guys start fighting over how successful America's military endeavors have gone since WW2 (27 mins)
  • They move back to variant development talk and discuss the time they generally took to create variants (from back when vDip was regularly publishing new variants a few years ago). They talk about the prospect of a Dip variant renaissance (29 mins)

Online Diplomacy pet peeves: NMR's

  • We have a suggestion from Super_Dipsy at PlayDip for a new segment about frustrations of online Dip (31 mins)
  • Kaner discusses one that gets to him is loss of previously published info. Amby mentions the guidance on what to do isn't always clear and you repeat the same mistakes again and again (31 mins 45 secs)
  • They fight over the frustrations of NMR's (and Amby takes it on the chin). Kaner discusses the dilemma he has in whether he should take advantage of a NMR player's centres and whether the game should be cancelled. Amby has no problems with this at all, gobbling up SCs (32 mins 30 secs)
  • They talk about ways around trying to avoid this problem, or reduce the risk of it happening (34 mins):
    • Reliability ratings and how you can create games with high benchmarks to try to avoid this happening
    • Inviting players into password protected games where players are generally reliable
    • A pre-agreement where the game condition for playing is if a player NMR's the game will be cancelled
    • Set up the game settings when creating to extend the phase automatically if a player NMR's
  • Amby and Kaner suggest they'll go out to vDip, webDip and PlayDip and ask what are player's pet peeves, and based on that highlight a peeve each episode and look at how each of the sites deal with that (43 mins)

Interview with Captainmeme

  • Kaner discusses how Captainmeme has a lot of experience with iritations due to being a vDip moderator and has the Comedy Cube at webDip and also hangs out at PlayDip (45 mins)
  • Our interview starts with Captainmeme introducing himself and how he finds the time to be so prolific on vDip, webDip and PlayDip (46 mins 30 secs)
  • He explains the different styles of play across the three main sites (49 mins 20 secs)
  • Captain talks about his role as a moderator (50 mins 30 secs)
  • He goes on to discuss what he likes about PlayDip (52 mins 30 secs)
  • Captain touches on Mafia and explains the culture of it at webDip and PlayDip (54 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner gives his thoughts and explains why Mafia sounds so attractive to Dip players. As Amby is a bit slow in learning, he keeps asking Cap more questions to better understand Mafia (57 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner asks what attracted Cap to Diplomacy variants and the variant that hooked him (60 mins)
  • Then its on to his current two favorite variant: 1 vs 1 and Chaos. He goes on to describe his role coordinating the 1 vs 1 tournament at webDip (1 hr 2 mins 45 secs)
  • Captain talks about the upcoming conclusion to the 1 vs 1 webDip Showdown tournament (although this is now completed since the interview) (1 hr 7 mins)
  • Amby fucks up on muting his mike, giving listeners an insight into what happens when his dog barks too much during Skype interviews with Dip players (1 hr 11 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner gives his personal perspectives on 1 vs 1 games (1 hr 12 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby asks Cap about his role bringing Ankara Crescent (zultar's favourite variant) to vDip and explains how you play the game (1 mins 13 secs)
  • Amby keeps fucking up with his mike and his dog's antics. Meanwhile in proper Dip talk, Cap takes his hat off to Kaner's gameplay in a game of Ankara Crescent they played together in (1 he 15 mins 30 secs)
  • Cap talks about his thoughts on preventing losing SCs in Ankara Crescent (1 hr 17 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner gives his ideas of playing Ankara Crescent... with Bourse (1 hr 19 mins)
  • The guys then start discussing the Bourse game, Captain's strategy and where he sees the game going (1 hr 20 mins 20 secs)
  • Kaner asks Cap why he let the cat out of the bag on Bourse strategy during the middle of the game, before giving a summary of the game's comings and goings (1 hr 25 mins)
  • Amby asks if Cap's strategy has changed now he's no longer on the board (1 hr 36 mins)
  • Amby asks Cap about his mid-game suggestion for a future game where the score is a mix between the Bourse and the board (1 hr 39 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner delves into what map would be best for the next Bourse game (1 hr 41 mins 50 secs)

Post interview wrap-up

  • Amby discusses his conversation with Captain re: whether Ruffhaus or Bozo will win the Bourse. Amby discusses the Bourse board SC transfer which would bring Bozo up to 1st position. Amby is doing this at the same time of eliminating Axum and Wagadu and is hoping it will get him into the 5th position he has been aiming for a long time [Amby says in the podcast that RUFFHAUS didn't know about this, but in fact did... bozo just didn't tell Amby that he also told RUFF!] (1 hr 43 mins)
  • Kaner also says he found Captain's  1 versus 1 tournament and Mafia discussion was really interesting and he learnt a lot. Then they start squabbling about how Mafia works based on their understanding of what Captain said (1 hr 47 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner says he's interested in giving a Mafia game a go (1 hr 50 mins)
  • Amby says he's starting to get a number of games finishing, including a Mars game - Ground control to Major Tom. And with the ratings changes needs to join some new rated games (1 hr 51 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby asks Kaner about how he created the Mars variant. Amby tries educating Kaner on who Kim Hughes is (1 hr 53 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss the WWIV game they've both joined: Furnace of Affliction (1 hr 55 mins 45 secs)

The Rat Wars variant

  • Kaner created the Rat Wars variant and recently won a game! You can see this game called Ratatouille on vDip (1 hr 57 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner accuses Amby of not playing his variants (1 hr 57 mins 45 secs)
  • He goes on to discuss the variant's fog of war nature, the two types of rat units you can build (arrow rats and spear rats) and how they differ in movement and when confronted with walls, and how supply centres work based on rat unit type (1 hr 58 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby expresses his interest in the way the coding for the rules works and how that code could be used in other variants. Kaner then gives a synopsis about the game he played and won. He touches on some general aspects of the variant (2 hrs 2 mins)
  • Amby asks Kaner how he got the idea for Rat Wars (2 hrs 6 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby then asks Kaner if there was a working Lab, what changes would he make to the variant now that its been played a while (2 hrs 7 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner finishes up to discuss his winning strategy for the variant: luck.  Amby says its Kaner's equivalent of 1066 to Amby (2 hrs 9 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys start wrapping things up. Kaner leaves us with a joke about heaven, old ladies and ducks (2 hrs 11 mins 15 secs)

Venue: Saville Row, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Young Henry's Seasonal Brew from Victoria
Amby - The Other Wine Company grenache 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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Kaner and Amby talk about recent Dip changes across various sites, current games and Game of Thrones/Diplomacy interview with RUFFHAUS8.

Intro and recent changes across Dip sites

  • The guys celebrate their 20th episode!  (5 secs)
  • Jason4747 suggested that Kaner and Amby provide more background info on their drinks, so the guys try (2 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner talks about the new webDip forum interface (4 mins)
  • Oli is back at vDip! Kaner discusses how Oli worked on vDip's database of games as it was getting too large and needed resetting. This flowed through to player scores and reliability rankings (7 mins)
  • Amby gives his thoughts on vDip using the same approach as PlayDip re: players who go away/return and how it impacts on rankings (14 mins)
  • Kaner goes into a little more detail on Oli's return to vDip (17 mins)
  • The guys talk a little about nopunin10did's ongoing plans to bring 1900 to vDip (19 mins)
  • Nopunin10did is also organising a multi-variant Dip tournament called "Tournament through Time". The guys discuss their thoughts on how the team structure would work if players outside PlayDip wanted to participate (20 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby goes on to discuss how he's been knocked out of his Dissolution game (28 mins)
  • He then discusses how he did a Renley Baratheon and got kicked out of the Online Diplomacy Championship due to an inadvertent NMR/couldn't be bothered ruling (31 mins)

Interview with RUFFHAUS8: a Diplomacy player's interpretation of Game of Thrones

  • The guys start introducing the interview with RUFFHAUS8 from vDip (34 mins)
  • Amby admits he banned RUFFHAUS from playing with him in games for over a year. RUFFHAUS addresses his gameplay and reputation (37 mins)
  • Kaner gives his perspective on RUFF's game style and asks how he got into the game, both offline and online (39 mins)
  • RUFF turns the table and asks Amby and Kaner about how they got into the game (42 mins)
  • Kaner asks how RUFF moved from the standard board to variants and how he got to vDiplomacy (44 mins)
  • RUFF talks about his favorite variants: Imperial II, World War IV sealanes and Versailles (49 mins)
  • Before coming to vDip RUFF used to play at Redscape (60 mins)
  • Amby asks RUFF about the Bourse game and his thoughts on how its progressing towards the end game (1 hr 2 mins)
  • RUFF suggests perhaps in hindsight the game should have been rated to create a more competitive environment before discussing ideas on the Bourse scoring system and how the nature of the game creates intriguing dynamics (1 hr 5 mins)
  • Kaner asks RUFF on his variant preference for the next Bourse game (1 hr 15 mins)
  • Amby discusses how he likes YouCantHandleTheTruth's suggestion of using supply and demand in the Bourse marketplace. RUFF gives his reservations (1 hr 19 mins)
  • Then it's Game of Thrones time! RUFF gives his perspective as a Diplomacy player about the characters in the TV show and books - SPOILER ALERT (1 hr 22 mins)
  • In doing so he touches on why Winner Take All is the only way of playing Diplomacy (1 hr 24 mins)
  • RUFF discusses his virtual "dossier" on players and how that related to his original Game of Thrones post of vDip players (1 hr 25 mins)
  • Then its onto the deeper analysis of show characters viewed with a Diplomacy lens (1 hr 26 mins)
  • Kaner asks whether RUFF will be doing an updated character list of vDip players  (1 hr 42 mins)


  • The guys both realise they forgot to ask why RUFFHAUS has the number 8 in his player name (original 36 mins - add 2 mins on past this from interview) (1 hr 49 mins)
  • To start wrapping up the guys received an email about a Youtube video about the Australian bird the ibis, and what the video is all about. Profanity wording for the video (1 hr 51 mins 30 secs)


  • Amby realises they missed something on the run-sheet: what do you need to do to make a variant? They realise its a pretty chunky discussion topic and decide to park it to the next (1 hr 56 mins)

Ratings and reviews for Diplomacy Games

  • The guys have some at last: both in Stitcher and iTunes! Jason4747 has posted one in Stitcher and Amby screws up and forgot to bring the iTunes review (1 hr 57 mins)

Venue: Eleven Rooftop Bar, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner - Mountain Goat pale ale from Victoria
Amby - Teusner Bilmore 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.

Play Now

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.


  • 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.

Play Now

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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