Thread: Diplomacy
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Old June 7th, 2018, 04:15 PM
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Re: Diplomacy

3rd game of diplomacy and I drew Italy for the 2nd time. It worked out reasonably last time ( a draw with Turkey) so we’ll see if it can go again.


Planning for Italy’s 5th center was an early goal. I have read that Italy doesn’t make it past #4 more often than not in diplomacy so it was a large concern on figuring out how to do that. I really like Greece as that option, but MAR, MUN, and TRI, and SMY are the other reasonable possibilities to me.

I had pretty detailed discussions with almost everybody this first year. Turkey clearly refused to let me into Greece. I appreciated his directness on that front as it laid down a foundation for me to take him at his word in later seasons. Russia sent out some generic platitudes, but nothing substantial when I pressed him for a more concrete plan, such as a move against Austria. I had really been tempted by an early attack on Austria, but Turkey’s reluctance to commit early (understandable) and Russia’s silence on the matter quashed that plan. Since I could not find an ally who would play aggressive early I agreed to depart Venice to make a nice foundation with Austria.
But while inroads on the Eastern front were stalling out for me, I also got quite a lot of action in the west. France wanted me to move to TYR promising me Munich in the fall. However, Germany and England and I became quite cordial and everyone seemed on board for a quick attack on France. Now I don’t delude myself into thinking this reaps much reward for Italy in general, but in 1901 the only ask was that I plant my army in Piedmont from which I can see if E/G are really all-in on this triple attack. That combined with Russia and Turkey’s actions led me to forgo an early attack against Austria and let things play out for the year.

1902 West:
Poor France. 0 builds. Something that was alluded to during the game is that if France had found a way to earn a build in 1901 then likely he would not have been facing 3 adversaries in the same manner he found himself in. I can say that committing resources against a 4 or 5 unit France would not have been something I would have pursued as Italy. However, when France turned up still having only 3 builds, England, Germany, and I began speaking in earnest. We quickly agreed upon a split of BRE/POR for England, MAR/SPA for Italy, and BEL/PAR for Germany. I was quite content with this arrangement and everything appeared to be peachy.

A funny thing happened in the fall though, and that was that France approached me saying he would willingly cede MAR and then Spain to me as he was only interested in damaging England and Germany for the remainder of the game. Especially England. I recognized this could be very valuable if England or Germany went back on the arrangement and so agreed and began working with France very closely. We exchanged lots of plans and ideas about what to do. I normally wouldn’t have committed a second fleet out that way, but with the opportunities that were being presented I pulled the trigger and indeed I found my 5th center this year by way of Marseilles (achievement unlocked!)

1902 East:
Things were not settling out to the point I wanted to commit one way or the other early in the Austria/Turkey boat. Turkey had continued to be very open and receptive to my requests (such as army build this year) I was fairly convinced that Russia was not going to be an ally of any dependable type based on their communication. I had communicated to both A/T that I was planning on taking spoils in France so neither of them would still get my aid.

I made my decision after spring of 1902. Austria was abusing Russia and Turkey. With no western pressure Austria was gaining rock solid position and gaining centers. Russia seemed to only half heartedly be playing any defense and not cooperating while Austria just gained position. In discussions with Austria there was something about how the discussions were trending that I didn’t like. For the most part, any plans made were ones that only benefitted me peripherally (such as outstretching fleets to support Austria into Turkish centers) and they were gains that would be solely under Austrian influence. Therefore I decided that Austria was very close to getting into a very overpowered position, so he needed some checks from the West and I moved to the Adriatic and Venice in an effort to to pressure Trieste and halt his march across the Balkans and Russia

1903 East:
In what would not be the last time in this game, Germany promised support against Austria that did not materialize. (b/c of Austria’s move to BOH) The hope had been that Russia would protect RUM, but in one of a series of puzzling moves this game, he did not. That allowed Austria another build, but made me very glad I had moved as I had done. In the fall, I made a very detailed plea with Russia to move to VIE from GAL and cover WAR with UKR and move SEV-RUM (with Turkish support) This would guarantee Russia a center of either RUM or VIE. And still protect WAR. I sent 4 presses over the course of 4 days to Russia explaining these moves would guarantee Austria -1 build and unless Austria did something wacky with Trieste would guarantee Russia +1 build. I don’t know if Russia read these and felt they needed no reply or whether Russia was busy ice skating in the Gulag. But Russia never responded to me until the following year. It was very frustrating at the time and very frustrating still. I would love to know from Russia if he never read my press or didn’t agree with my move assessments. In either case, some communication here would have been nice. Frustrated I was, but not panicked yet as things in the West were going well.

1903 West:
Germany, England, and I are all still in agreement about how to proceed. Germany’s angst with Austria also plays into what I see as the our continued working together. I really start to work on England at this point understanding that he cannot remain peaceful with both Italy and Germany. I really believe we are positioned to do very well together, but he must turn his fleets on the Germans which is poised perfectly to do, while I could then send my fleets back to the East. He is very willing to discuss things, but not very committal. I plan on giving him Portugal, but his responses are not very reassuring to me. In the end this season goes as expected with me taking Spain for my 6th build and France on the run.

1904 East
The spring was crazy for me here. I was again talking quite a bit with Austria. This was about as uncertain as I was all game deciding again between Turkey and Austria as Austria was putting a very compelling case together to work with him again. In the end I decided to go with Turkey. It had a lot to do with how Germany was acting actually that put some fear into me. I also figured I still had some time as things were going so well with England……. (famous last words). In the fall, I argued for a while to and put Turkey into Trieste. Eventually Turkey talked me out of it and we made the moves that have already been talked about. A lot of time can be spent on what might have been, and I’m as guilty as anyone there, so I won’t spend too much time. The collective moves by Austria beat the collective moves of Turkey, Russia, and Italy for the 5th season in a row.

1904 West
BETRAYAL! Calamity strikes as England and Germany instigate a deathly stab in the spring of 1904. I asked for a bounce in West Med from England before allowing him into Portugal in the fall. From the way the game played out I do not believe England every seriously considered an alternative to working with Germany, but I spent a lot of time planning out the remainder of the game with him before this point. My plan at this point in the game was to give England Portugal in the fall and once our placements for that season were correct as we agreed, I could start sending my other fleets East to turn the tide against Austria.

Alas, England did not choose this course, and I don’t particularly blame him for it. What I will say I didn’t like is the gloating tone I received from him over the next couple of days, which soured some of the long term diplomatic relationships for us.

But let this be a warning that hubris breeds opportunity for your enemy. The fall of 1904 was quite possibly my most proud Diplomacy moment: The crushing of the English fleet in Spain. (not to be confused with the 2nd crushing of the English fleet in Spain in 1907 ) France and I got a lot of praise for the maneuver but truth be told, it wasn’t completely pulled out my head. During the aftermath of England’s move into Spring, he sent me a contract that he and Germany had drawn up early in the game for a long term alliance. I used the terms of that contract to dictate my moves. Had that been a false contract, or they had decided to ignore those terms, or even if England never sent me the contract I would have done a different move.

The contract was short but specific and within its terms was the rule that no nation would have more than 1 center over the other. I used that rule to decide Germany, who was already +1 on England, would not take Paris that season but instead make a play to get England a center (Marseilles, since Spain could not be held). It took a long time to convince France to commit to this, but I was able to do so and the English fleet burned that season. I believe that if that doesn’t work and Paris is taken instead, England and Germany roll.
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