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

April 13, 2017

PlayDiplomacy (part 2), interview with Super_Dipsy & Morg and the Calhamer estate auction

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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