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The Briefing

A Weekly Threat Assessment of the Diplomacy Community

Carnage Approaches
Carnage is fast approaching. Qualifiers happen November 6-7, the final board and live DBN coverage kicks off the following day. If you're indoors and have internet access, registration is a mere $10. Proceeds will be donated to the Vermont Foodbank.
The tournament scores the top three of four results and hosts opening ceremonies on Discord November 5th starting at 7 p.m. EST.
Diplomacy Games Media

Diplomacy Games jumps headfirst into the growing pile of Media Wars content. They interview Brother Bored, Legendary Tactics and CaptainMeme, and talk about gender bias in the online community. They also make Kaner's final pitch for American president, and weight in on Australian democracy sausage.
New Diplicity Variant
The 1908: Fall of Europe variant was just deployed on Diplicity and their Android app. Designed for 7 players by variant virtuoso Enriador, it seeks to recreate Europe on the verge of a new conflict between the Great Powers.
Diplomaticcorp Resumes
Play by email site Diplomaticcorp has resumed operations. They are currently hosting open and veteran's classic games, and have added a couple variants to their stable of offerings. Try human moderated Diplomacy!
 
Champion's Corner
The Champions Corner is where recent tournament winners share a specific move or strategy that helped them emerge victorious.
 
For this issue we welcome Andrei Gribakov, winner of the recent Tempest in a Teapot Tournament hosted by the Potomac Tea & Knife Society. 

I am an extremely new player to the hobby having played my first game in May 2020. Rather than attempting to heap advice on you, the reader, I will describe my thought process going into this tournament and use Fall 1903 from my first game as an example.

I developed my strategy from the premise that new players in any strategy game tend to blunder more often than experienced players and those mistakes are of greater magnitude. The resulting high-level approach had three main goals: (1) find a strong ally immediately; (2) make myself indispensable; and (3) be patient. A strong ally reduces the number of early tough decisions and the magnitude of potential errors by providing additional (often better) tactical and diplomatic advice. Being indispensable early also reduces the likelihood of catastrophic and unforced errors by greatly reducing the pressure on my home supply centers. Finally, being patient in this context meant passing up higher variance options and sacrificing some equity for guaranteed plays that were less optimal but also lower variance. This approach limited my risk and downside from inexperience but also certainly capped my upside; solos were out and any potential board top would likely be small.

I drew England in the first game. I formed a strong partnership with Germany by promising to be the fleets to his armies. As the DBN announcers pointed out this was likely beneficial to Germany as it greatly reduced my ability to capture non-coastal supply centers and virtually eliminated any chance at a solo. This also meant Germany had much higher growth potential in the mid-game once the French SCs were taken. This also meant that it was a hard deal for Germany to pass up. But building fleets also accomplished my own goals as well: I was a good, non-threatening ally that was indispensable to Germany early on against France.

My fleets ensured a strong defensive position to reduce the magnitude of potential errors in the future.This came in handy when Germany eventually turned on me because my position was strong enough to survive tactical errors. Take a look at the position after Spring 1903 moves:

Here I promised Germany help into Sweden and also suggested that he take Brest because it’s guaranteed. Here's the result. This move set cost me tempo and appears to have slightly increased the chances of a potential German stab if he chose to shift course because he now can build a fleet in Kiel.

But, the results also accomplished all three of my goals and solidified my chances of getting a strong result.

First, I was a good ally because I helped Germany into two centers, strengthening our early partnership and prioritizing his position over my growth (something I could afford to do as England). Second, and most importantly, I became indispensable to Germany and France. Because the French fleet was destroyed, it became very difficult for them to turn on me because both were extremely army heavy. Now, even if Germany decided to attack me, I could work with France because their (easiest) path to success was through German armies and supply centers. I felt confident the position and the German (as opposed to English) capture of Brest would make France’s choice easy even if my diplomacy was weak. Third, this fell neatly into the third goal. I sacrificed tempo and potentially higher upside plays to ensure a guaranteed result: a diminished one fleet France at the hands of a German attack while simultaneously strengthening my partnership with my German ally.

Ultimately, these moves eliminated any chance of F/G working together and solidified my chances of having a strong position leading into the mid-game.

 November

December

  • 18th-20th - Virtual World Classic - Email TD

January 

  • TBA - Cascadia (Canada) - Email TD
  • TBA - Asia Pacific Diplomacy League Championship - Join Discord

February

October

November
This issue was brought to you by Mike Walsh, thanks for supporting!
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