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

January 12, 2017

1 vs 1 (Part 1) & interview with Devonian

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

Around the Board - game updates

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

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

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

Interview with Devonian 

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

In closing...

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

Venue: Sixteen Antlers, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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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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