A Weekly Threat Assessment of the Diplomacy Community

Diplomacy Registry

To support the in-person hobby to recover from COVID, the Diplomacy Club Growth Initiative (CGI) has launched the Diplomacy Face-to-Face Registry in partnership with the vWDC, the NADF (North American hobby), the AFJD (French hobby), and the London Diplomacy Club.

This effort, led by Bill Hackenbracht, David Hood, Liam Stokes, and Zach Moore, has mapped over 350 players and 12 clubs and organizations - from the Bay Area to Buenos Aires, from Bamako to Brisbane, and nearly all points in-between.  But they would like to know … are you missing?

The FtF Registry will help facilitate face to face play when the pandemic is over and be used to organize events, clubs, and even private games.  Please note that personal information will only be used to promote Diplomacy organizations and events and will only be shared with Diplomacy organizers with your consent. Sign up here, and check out the current player and organization map here.
New Editor Position
Last year we brought on 3 editors who took over writing the copy for each issue.  They have done a great job.  We are looking to add 2 people to become content editors.  They would be in charge of helping to plan out future issues and colloborating with our copy editors.  Click here for more info. 

The Diplomacy Broadcast Network Invitational Tournament will be played on February 13th-20th, with a top board on the 27th. Over 300 people competed for a spot before being whittled down to a final 28. Check out the list of players here and be sure to follow all of the exciting action live on the Diplomacy Broadcast Network's Youtube Channel. Broadcast begins at 2:00 pm EST.

Diplomacy Serial offers proven players a chance to share thoughts that are just too big for one issue. This second article (check out the first article here) of a four part series features Village Idiot, a top 10 player on playdiplomacy and webDiplomacy and finalist in Nexus and the ODC, dissecting the anatomy of a top ranked player.

In the previous article, Village Idiot writes that all top players are the voice in the room; people with an excellent ability to speak and make their presence known. They are also students of the board; not only do they analyze the current position on the map, they have the foresight to understand how the game will develop multiple turns into the future.

3) They Act on their 'Spidey-Sense'

Skilled players can often sense when an ally is about to stab them in the back. They sense a shift in mood or a change in conversation style, notice suspicious actions, or simply perceive that their ally has a great backstab opportunity. A skilled player does more than just sense a coming backstab; they react. By contrast, there are a lot of players who sense a stab coming, yet for some reason don't act on this suspicion. 

4) They Treat Allies As Equals

Alliances work best when both sides are equally satisfied. Nobody grows faster than the other, nobody is trying to steer an advantage in their favor, nobody is more vulnerable then the other, nobody is assuming more risk. This is a bit idealistic, but you get the idea. Occasionally offering to take a bigger bite of risk or suggesting for your ally to take a center is an investment in a strong alliance, and a strong alliance can get you incredibly far.
They wait until the knife is in their back to react, even though  by that point the damage is done and there’s little more to do but shake an angry fist. If you feel a stab coming, then call the other person out, get prepared for it, or make a preemptive strike. I'd rather be labelled paranoid than foolish. Tarsier (*Top 10 veteran at PlayDiplomacy) would often say his first sign of an impending stab is a sudden drop off in communications. If they stop talking or change how they’re talking, prepare for problems. 
Be conscious of potential causes of frustration for an ally (like getting boxed in or assuming a disproportionate amount risk); this could save you from a backstab. If it makes strategic sense for your team and doesn’t create too much risk, don't be afraid to concede over a center.  CS (*Top 10 veteran PlayDiplomacy) was completely selfless, which helped him build extremely strong alliances in most games he plays.

5) They Champion their Needs

Good players plan for safeguards as much as possible and advocate for their personal interest even while being a good ally. You can be extremely trusting and generous to your allies in the beginning, when you’re investing in relationships and trust—but don't leave your throat exposed for too long, and minimize this as much as possible in the end-game when likelihood of stabs are at their highest.  Routinely confirm that your alliances and neighboring treaties are still in force, and address concerns immediately as they come up. Diplomatically set expectations with your
allies that they must ask permission if they are going to transit close to any of your centers. Get players to explain their plans to you so that you can recognize deviations from their stated objectives. There is an art to this, as there's a fine line where cautious becomes perceived more as paranoid (which is a less flattering look and has a tendency towards contagiousness). In games with MadMarx (*former #1 at WebDiplomacy/peak rating record holder) our alliance was in a perpetual state of negotiations and renegotiations; it was just baked into our daily discussions. 




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