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

Episodes

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.

Intro

  • 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.

00:0000:00
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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.

00:0000:00
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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!

Intro

  • 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.

00:0000:00
Play Now

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.

00:0000:00
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.

Intro

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

Variant ideas

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

Interview with Alex Ronke / nopunin10did from PlayDip

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

Venue: Sonny's House of Blues, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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

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

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

00:0000:00
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.

00:0000:00
Play Now

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

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

Around the grounds

Bourse

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

Known World 901 tournament

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

Dissolution: Play-by-Forum game at PlayDip

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

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

Venue: Mr Edward's Ale House, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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

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

00:0000:00
Play Now

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

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

Metagaming arseholes 

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

Variant and Lab talk

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

Back to Metagaming

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

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

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

Live games

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

The guys discuss their games

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

The Colonial Diplomacy variant

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

Venue: Breakfast Creek Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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

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

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

00:0000:00
Play Now

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

Latest news

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

Around the grounds

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

Interview with Super_Dipsy and Morg from PlayDiplomacy

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

Amby's experience with PlayDiplomacy

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

Venue: Breakfast Creek Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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

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

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

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

Around the grounds

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

Diplomacy Dilemmas

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

What the Doctor Recommended

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

When the boss bans Dip

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

The new Lab

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

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

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

Venue: Embassy Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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

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

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

00:0000:00
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