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

February 23, 2017

Diplomacy Dilemmas, Sengoku (Japanese variant) & the Russian Dip site

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

Late news and game updates

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

New segment: Diplomacy Dilemmas

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

Sengoku - the Japanese variant

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

More Dip chit-chat

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

Venue: Victory Hotel, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

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

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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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