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A Weekly Threat Assessment of the Diplomacy Community

Nexus Season 6 Finals

The finals are here! The best of the best of the online community have schemed, swindled, schmoozed and stabbed their way to the Nexus Final. After over four months of games with 120 competitors, a fearsome top 7 have emerged.
In qualifying order, the finalists are: Dave Roberts, Riaz, Ewok, Phillip, MaxVax, Tanjian & PezDeMer. The Diplomats host the Paris Method power selection process, a Who's Who of the players, and will be providing turn-by-turn coverage and analysis of the game. Don't miss it!
Nexus is unique in that the season final is a spectator sport with live commentary and critique from the "peanut gallery" wholly encouraged. Embrace your inner armchair general and get involved here.
Diplomacy Games #92

Kaner & Amby interview Isabella Vladoiu from US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights about how the game relates to real life Diplomacy. They also discuss their games, plus what NOT to say to a Mod. Listen here or search for Diplomacy Games on your preferred podcast app.
Tour of Britain 2nd Leg
Round 3 & 4 of the Tour of Britain took place on the 12th and 13th June. The four games played saw board tops from Rhys Cumming, Morgante Pell, Katie Gray/Morgante Pell and Karthik Konath/Chung Kiu Kwok/Evan Swihart. Check out DiplomacyTV for the full scores, and sign up for the September round of games!
The Boston Massacre virtual tournament is June 26th-27th. Some of the best players in the world will be taking part. Sign up to reserve your spot today.
The Virtual World Diplomacy Community hosts regular sessions where a hobby expert hosts a discussion of a topic in which they excel. The Briefing's own strategy correspondent Natty Shafer brings us a synopsis of the talks. This issue he reports on Chris Brand's MasterClass discussion on rallying the board. Earlier talks are available in the MasterClass archives.
In a Masterclass on May 23rd 2021, Chris Brand led an excellent discussion on persuading the rest of the board to work with you to stop the leader, or "rallying the board". This is a specific case of the art of persuasion within the game of Diplomacy. You must persuade multiple people, and the stakes are high. If you fail, someone is going to solo - and it won't be you. The game is over and you've lost.
To rally the board, you will need to convince other players of two things: your sincerity and your veracity. To convince people of your sincerity, you have to show you are willing to do what it takes. That may involve sacrifices of position (or at least promises of sacrifices). To convince people of your veracity, you need to show that you have an accurate read of the board.
To show your sincerity, the solo threat should override every other consideration. You must offer to behave selflessly. It might not matter who takes Munich, for example, so you could offer your supportto another player. Likewise, you can offer to sacrifice supply centers so fleets can be in the right position (These promises are not written in stone. Once you have rallied the board, later, you can return to your new allies and inform them that after taking a closer look at the board, the optimal tactics require you not to behave so selflessly.)
To show your veracity, you must make players believe that the threat is actually real. It is possible for players to believe you are sincere, but still believe you are misreading the board.
Different players approach the board in different ways. You have to talk to the level of understanding of that player. New players tend to have tunnel vision and may not see a solo threat until it is nearly too late. Intermediate players tend to focus on the number of supply centers each person has; 10 or 11 centers might not yet be viewed as a threat. More advanced players will also note the important territories that the would-be soloist controls.
Tunnel vision players need to be told which supply centres of theirs are under threat. Tactical players may need to be walked through the steps the would-be soloist could take. Strategically focused players can be told about the stalemate lines. The key is to find individual player's mindsets and work from that point of view. Even if they have the wrong picture, you need to know what they are thinking.
You have to convince one other person of the solo threat, and then it tends to snowball so other players join. Some players will respond better to a group entreaty to rally the board. They like to be part of a tribe. Other players will prefer one-on-one attention. Hopefully, by the time there is a solo threat, you have a read of that person. (That's why you need to be talking to people throughout the game.)
Common Obstacles
Alliance players may not want to stop the solo. One option is to convince them that their assessment of the soloers personality is wrong. Other times, it may be enough to show that stabbing the alliance player is sufficient for a solo. It is helpful to sow the seeds of mistrust earlier in the game: "Are you getting what you should out of this alliance?"
Some players have alternative win conditions. They may not mind coming in "second" to a solo. You may need to give them an education about the lack of second place in Diplomacy. In their heart of hearts do they really want to lose to a solo?
Existing enmities may also need to be overcome. If two people have been fighting for a while, it may be hard for them to work together. Often trust has been breached repeatedly. France could state, "My game has been ruined. I don't care if Austria solos; just as long as it isn't England." It could be helpful to point out that France wouldn't just ruin England's game, he would ruin everyone else's too.
Another obstacle can be resignation. Some players feel hopeless to stop a solo. The good news is you do not have to convince them a threat exists. You just need to walk them through the tactical details to show that it is not inevitable.
Finally, a good Diplomacy player can use a false rally to their benefit. Even if the solo threat is real, you may be able to use the distraction to solo yourself. Once you have most of the board working with you, you have a huge advantage, but the devil is in the details. You must negotiate to put your units where they need to be. People sometimes have tunnel vision, and once they are focusing on that one threat, they don't notice a secondary threat.
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This issue was brought to you by Mike Walsh. Thanks for the support!
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