Bell Tolls on Liberty Cup
Congratulations to Joel Culbreath, winner of the 10th Annual Liberty Cup! In a stunning performance, the cut-throat Culbreath topped the board in all 3 rounds of this Philadelphia, USA tournament. Well done to 2nd- and 3rd- place finishers Ian Rudnick and Victor Bowman, and huge thanks to organiser Bill Hackenbracht. Find the full results on DiplomacyTV.
FlyingBoat Beats Blitz Foes
Congratulations to TheFlyingBoat, winner of the inaugural Nexus Leagues Blitz Press League! In a contest lasting from June-September, with 5 rounds and 120 players, TheFlyingBoat stormed to the win with 3 board tops and an Italian solo. Huge thanks to all the League staff! You can find the full announcement and scores here.
Hidden Experts Revealed
The Hidden Experts Diplomacy Community is hosting the "Olympus Tournament", a brand new extended deadline full press tournament on the Backstabbr platform. With almost 100 players already signed up, this promises to be a significant event in the online calendar and games are slated to start on 27th October. Join the server and register to get involved!
Renegade Reprint
Renegade Game Studios are extending their licensing partnership with Hasbro Gaming Classics. This means brand new support and reprints for many classic games, including Axis and Allies, RoboRally and of course, Diplomacy! Find the full announcement and more information at Renegade's website.
The Champions Corner is usually where recent tournament winners share a specific move or strategy that they believe helped them to emerge victorious.
This week we welcome Sipke, winner of Nexus Cold War 5. This is a popular 2-player variant between NATO and the USSR on a global map that challenges your strategic and tactical acumen.
Hot Seats/Cold Wars

Cold War strategy isn't very hard: clear the corners so you can free up units to overpower Europe. Done. Tactics are a bit harder but one should try to use a minimum amount of units to keep a maximum amount of your opponent's units busy, so you have some fleets left to hunt for neutrals or clear those damn corners. Easy. Unless your opponent tries the same and/or is tactically superior to you. Then it's hard. You’ll have to find something different to win:

But not just gamble. Gamble in a way you know you’ll win. You need to rig the game. Load the dice. Put cards in your sleeve. Set traps. Be the Charlatan. But first: know your opponent!

I could write an essay about how to get to know your opponent reading only movesets. But I won’t. Because frankly… I didn’t do a lot of that. One doesn’t get a lot of time to do kitchen-table-psychology in this Cold War variant. The first years are usually pretty predictable and I was too lazy to do much research on my opponents. Besides, there will probably be seasoned gunboat players willing to use their champions corner to write about how great they are in profiling their enemies from reading only movesets. I’ll leave it to them.
Instead I should write about what I did better than anyone else in this tournament:
To gamble successfully it helps if you have the chance to set the stage. You need a really comfortable sofa, a table and a bottle of wine. Take the wooden chair yourself and invite your opponent to the sofa. Than take out your loaded dice. They will defend their seat while you stand up and walk across the room to take their wallet.

In other words: try to give your opponent a false sense of security.Give them a feeling it is a safe bet. I’ll give you a couple of examples that worked (or didn’t work) for me. And make up some theories about why it worked.

Empty Chairs
Leave your comfortable seat and take a chair from another table. The sofa will likely stay yours. No worries: you can build there.

Most people will defend if they don’t have anything better to do. Better yet: most people will not attack when they have a more certain option. I wouldn’t count on this to work twice in a game though, a learning opponent will likely try to get lucky later in the game.

Pull the Chair
I liked this one. But it didn't work. Lucky me it wasn't vital for winning the game anymore.

Most USSR's would try to bounce Ionian sea. Where else would the Mediterranean fleet go? And while they accidentally sail into the Ionian they lose the ability to defend Egypt. Sneak a fleet into the red sea and it's yours. You'll have pretty much secured the corner too.

As you see in the screenshot it didn't work. I likely kept too many chairs open in the finals already.

Stop the Cavalry
These are two situations resulting out of nasty retreats. The NATO fleets are isolated but South Korea or Vladivostok are guaranteed in spring. You know you are going to get kicked out in fall. Unless you bounce the incoming defending army or fleet. These are not sustainable gains. Use the build to achieve that elsewhere.
The Danish Dodge
I only have one USSR trick to share. But it's a special one. CoffeeKeyboards asked me how I made winning with Russia look easy. Well, this is it. It works every time. Or it worked every time since after this gets published it will likely never work again.
You’ll often get this chance playing USSR after the fairly standard openings. The sofa is Sweden. The chair is Denmark. Instead of forcing yourself in West Germany you’ll let East Germany walk through and enter the North Sea with Denmark. While the resulting situation isn’t obvious to defend NATO will need some extra units to repair the mess. Take advantage!
Left: Situation before Fall 1961. What would you do as NATO?
Centre: Fall 1961 - this usually happens.
Right: Result - one extra build and an extremely annoying fleet in the North Sea.
Alright, that was it. My sleeve is empty. Thanks for reading, I hope you've learned something. I'll have to go now. I need new tricks. I don't play a lot but when we meet I'll have to make sure I'll still be able to get you on the wrong foot!
This issue was brought to you by Adam Silverman. Thank you for the support!
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