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A Weekly Threat Assessment of the Diplomacy Community

Speedboat League Winner

Congratulations to Borjigin who won the inaugural Diplomacy Nexus Speedboat League Final. The tournament featured 21 preliminary games, culminating in a spectacular bloodbath of a final game. Borjigin climbed to the top of the pile, leading Italy to 16 centres in a three-way draw.
Against fellow players gohornsgo (AH), Gorillla (E), Eber Condrell (F), Kutusov (G), New England Fire Squad (R) and seren (T), Borjigin achieved victory by the 1912 cut-off. The League tournaments use the 'Mind the Gap' scoring system and take place every other month with the next beginning at the start of December. Head over to Nexus to join in the fast-paced competition.
Podcast #81 - Interview with David Hood
Kaner & Amby catch up with David Hood and talk about his role in DBN's Deadline News and much more. Plus a bumper amount of Diplomacy news and an 'Around the Grounds' discussion of variants. Grab a drink and listen to the guys here.
Even in a strange year, Diplomacy fans have a lot to be thankful for. The coming together of the online and face-to-face game is finally materializing, bringing new enthusiasm and involvement. So give thanks when your ally forgives a foolish stab, when your fleet sails unopposed into BLA and when everyone supports you into Belgium!
The Champions Corner is where recent tournament winners share a specific move or strategy that helped them emerge victorious.
 
For this issue we welcome Badger1991, winner of the Super Pastis 1907 Cutoff 2020 Tournament on PlayDiplomacy. 

Balancing East and West as Italy:
The Importance of a French Agreement during the Mid-Game


As one of the last players to select a country in the SuperPastis 2020 Final Board, I ended up with Italy. Many people strongly dislike Italy as you can get stuck in the middle between East and West. You have fleets in Ionian and Tyrrhenian Sea but are pulled in both directions and are not sure which direction to go.
Moreover, moving fleets back and forth across the Med takes a lot of time and those shifts in direction are quite visible to everyone. On the positive, I like playing Italy as you have the ability to make a significant impact in the game right from the start. An Italy that heads West at the beginning can really throw a wrench in the E/F/G triangle. A first move to Tyrolia will force Germany and Austria constantly to look over their shoulder.
In this final SuperPastis game, the key turning point occurred in the Spring 1903 when France decided to switch his focus from the Med to England. The game opened up in a traditional fashion on the Western Front with France and England allied against Germany. As Italy, I opted to move East in tandem with Austria. Austria was willing to try the Key Lepanto, but as Russia failed to join in, Austria and I went back and forth on whether to work with Turkey or against him. In an effort to try and curry favor with Austria I opted to take Tunis with my fleet vice an army. This move had the unintended consequence of having France build a fleet in Marseille, never a good sign for Italy.
I opted to build two fleets that year but was unable to prevent France from moving to Gulf of Lyon and down to Mid-Atlantic. The French fleet in GoL was a strategic problem as it could convoy an army to Tuscany. Moreover, I needed additional fleets against Turkey who Austria and I had just moved against and he was sure to be aggressive in his defensive efforts.
I gambled that France was going to try and self-bounce in Spain to defend against my Western Med fleet moving into Spain, so I supported Gulf of Lyon to Spain. This was a stroke of luck for me as it now placed the two French fleets in Spain and Mid-Atlantic. More importantly, it gave me an opening to try and convince France that he was better served by moving against England.
Up until that point, England and France were racing forward together and with the confusion in the East, they had a clear path to an early lead. My only real selling point to France was that with my large number of fleets I could delay French growth allowing England to expand much faster. I tried to highlight that he could grow much faster if he moved against England. While none of this was a real surprise for France, it helped that neither of us wanted the Final game to be consumed with a slog in the Med.
In the end, France decided to move against England which freed up my units to focus on growth in the East. This move allowed me to expand to seven units and not have to consume more of my forces watching the French fleets. While France and I sparred in the end, I could never have competed for the final position without this French decision.
You can find further coverage of the game here.

December

January

  • TBA - Asia Pacific Diplomacy League Championship - Join Discord

 February

November

December

January

This issue was brought to you by PezDeMer. Thanks for the support!
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