A Weekly Threat Assessment of the Diplomacy Community

Cascadia Tournament Commences!

The one day Cascadia tournament kicks off on January 30th. With more than 60 high quality players registered from around the world, this will be one for the record books. Join up, or watch from the sidelines as DBN covers every second!
VWDC: Helping House Games Happen

The VWDC Discord server now has a dedicated space for organizing and hosting virtual face-to-face  games. They recently adopted a Diplomacy Scheduler Bot to track interest and send out RSVPs, so join a house game near you by joining the discord, and check out the "House Games" channel.
The channel is also looking for volunteers to help organize games and Diplomacy events. To get involved, email Bill Hackenbracht. The VWDC server is a great place to get involved, it's now the home for the VDL, Tour of Britain, and the virtual versions of Whipping, DixieCon, Massacre, and Liberty Cup - in addition to next year's vWDC!
The Longest Diplomacy Game Ever, A Recap
CaptainMeme and Ezio have begun their series of videos covering the 2012 webDiplomacy World Cup Final, a game that lasted a whopping 105 years. This episode sets the scene, then dives into cover the first 10 year of this epic game. 

The Champions Corner is where recent tournament winners share a specific move or strategy that helped them emerge victorious.

After multiple wins last season, Tanya Grill starts off 2021 with another victory in the VDL. Tanya shares their secrets in out first Champions Corner this year!

As strange as this year has been, it has been quite an exciting and innovative time for face-to-face Diplomacy. While we’ve had great virtual tournaments all year, one of the events that everyone looked forward to monthly was Zach Moore’s Virtual Diplomacy League (VDL). This enterprise originally started off as casual games for the Minnesota Diplomacy Club, however, after amassing a fair amount of global interest, Zach transformed the club into a competitive league to be enjoyed by all. In fact, the VDL hosted 97 players in total and had 37 boards by the end of the season. The whole thing is an incredible success coupled with monthly live commentary by phenomenal players on top of it (thank you Diplomacy Broadcast Network). 


I immediately jumped at the chance of playing in the VDL when I saw Zach advertising these zoom/discord face-to-face games on Twitter back at the beginning days of the lockdown. I played a game back in April, rolled Austria, and somehow managed to top the board. Then in June, I played another game, rolled Austria, and somehow managed to top the board again. And then once again, two months after that, I played a third game, rolled Turkey, and managed to top the board. Let’s just say I had fun all three times and it secured me a spot on the top board (which, spoiler, I win). 


Playing a top board in an almost year long league is likely quite different than playing the top board of a weekend long tournament. Since I had not played a VDL game since August I was worried about potentially being the odd one out as the rest of the players had likely encountered each other multiple times on the board. Surely, when you play against people multiple times over months, you build trust and friendship, right? Wrong. It was a blessing for me that I had not played with many of these players. Rule #1 is don’t expect Diplomacy players to get along - they won’t. 

Rule #2 is quite simple: piss off players less than everyone else does and you just might win. I made it a point to generally tell the truth or to just tell another player that I couldn’t work with them in the moment. While this might not seem like the best strategy, it managed to get people less angry at me than they were at others. This pays off when the end of the game comes around and someone has to top the board. Being friendly with everyone meant that the smaller powers were less inclined to attack me in order to let someone else top the board instead. 


The game itself was dynamic and exciting, and all the players on the board were so good. I had the privilege of being in the West with Dave Roberts and John Anderson, and I managed to snag Dave as an ally and we marched to the finish together. What makes this game exciting to watch (and to play, of course) was that there were so many moments where the victor could have been either me or Dave. I managed to get out on top due to some good negotiation and a lucky guess, however, that does not detract from the incredible game Dave played on this top board. 


I was Germany, Dave was France, and we quickly allied together to take down England and turn our attention to the East. The East initially looked like they managed to get their act together and stop us, until internal divisions, mistrust, and a collective anger towards Morgante (Italy) managed to turn the East into a sh** show that allowed Dave and I to break through and make game winning moves. Rule #3: don’t be on the side of the board that breaks first and lets the other side over the stalemate line. It usually means you’re not going to win the game. From there, I managed to take Warsaw while Austria and Russia pulled away from me, and it was pretty much game over. 

Is This Germany Too Far Over The Stalemate Line?

In conclusion, it was a great game and an even greater league. I look forward to it restarting next year, and seeing what incredible new talent the VDL continues to attract to our growing hobby. The players on the top board other than myself (Dave Roberts, John Anderson, Ed Sullivan, Morgante Pell, Karthik Konath, and Liam Stokes) are all new to the face-to-face scene and I am so ready to play against them at the next in person tournament. 


Once again, thanks to Zach Moore for running this, and to everyone at the Diplomacy Broadcast Network for their commentary and live coverage, and of course, the Diplomacy Briefing for giving me a platform to ramble on about myself. 


Until next time, 







This issue was brought to you by Michael DeMichillie. Thank you for the support!
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