A Weekly Threat Assessment of the Diplomacy Community


What do you get the diplomat who has everything for Christmas? This is a question that vexes spouses, family, and significant others each year. More importantly what do you get yourself for Christmas, you sneaky rapscallion. The Briefing is here to help.

Advertisers want you to think that the clothes make the man. While that sounds superficial, there is undeniable truth that the game board makes the diplomat. When someone walks into a tournament wearing elbow pads on their suit and smelling of dust, you can be sure they own a 1961 board. You’ve also got your gaudy hipsters with their anniversary metal sets, and don’t even get me started with those who own plastic and cardboard pieces. The less said about them the better.

What has been missing from the hobby is a board that is elegant and functional. A board that says the person who owns me is safe, conscientious, and reasonable. Trust them and love them. Thankfully, Matthew Crill has done the hobby a great service in designing this customized board.
His wooden board is made of birch plywood, and its custom map is laser cut. Not only is the board beautiful, but it also has a five-star safety rating. You’ll be glad you own a wood board and not a flimsy cardboard one when your ally throws a haymaker at you after a stab. Not only is it an effective shield, but it can double as a formable weapon when it’s time for a counterattack.
This board also solves another problem that has long vexed the hobby. Invariably after you stab an ally, they are going to try to knock the board over so the pieces go flying and chaos will ensue. But my friend, what happens if those pieces are magnetized?

Yes, you guessed it. Matt Crill has magnetized the board, pieces, and supply center markers. In fact, you can even mount this on a wall and play a game or better yet mount it to the ceiling above your bed. Beth Harmon eat your heart out.
Other features include:
  • Maple/finish plywood board sandwich panels with enclosed galvanized steel sheets fabricated on a Glowforge laser etching machine.
  • Three panels each measuring 17.5" high x 8 to 8.5" wide.
  • Velcro strips connecting each board panel
  • Army and fleet units made from hard maple with embedded magnets. Total of 112 units (56 armies and 56 fleets; 8 each per country).
  • Supply center markers made from colored acrylic and with embedded magnets to show country ownership. Total of 126 markers (18 per country)
  • Birch plywood box with dividers to hold army and fleet units including a sliding clear acrylic cover
  • Engravings on the back of each panel and the units box with the board number and the owner's name
  • Metallic strips on the back of each board panel to enable hanging by wall magnets
  • Provided in a reusable box for storage. Measures 20" x 13" x 3.5".
  • Custom markings or additions available upon request
Matt Crill is charging $230 for the regular board and $280 for the magnetized one sans shipping. Until now these boards would cost 4-5 times as much, and the waiting list is already growing so I encourage you to treat yourself and contact Matt at

Ours is a small hobby with individuals who invest a lot of time into making it rich and meaningful. Because of that, I think it’s important to get behind people who are investing their time and energy. Also, Santa could use a break so help him out and buy yourself your own present. 😁

Your Ally,

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