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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-07-20 09:50:55

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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-07-20 10:48:44

Diplomacy IV - Fall and Winter 1901

Play the home version by following these forum threads! The adjudicator is also running a side game of wagering for spectators.

The images below depict the latest states of the board. A larger version is available for viewing by clicking on it.

As Europe turns colder in the winter, diplomatic relations between many nations have become quite icy...

Austria has surprisingly turned out to be a loser in the opening seasons. The Archduke trusted the Italians, who have betrayed him, and attempted to take advantage of the Turks. Now he doesn't have Greece, and he is likely to be dismembered by a three-way alliance including the Russians. His only remaining hope is to turn one of his three opponents against the others, then rise like Steven "you thought you'd killed me, didn't you?" Segal in one of his three-word-title movies. Just keep hoping this isn't Executive Decision, Zeke.

England is likewise beset by a triple alliance, with France, Germany, and Russia mustering enough fleets to squash England into the jam they like so much on their crumpets. Five fleets are now within three turns of London, and England has little hope of resisting in Scandinavia. Before we start saying 'Alas, poor Mike, we hardly knew ye' England should make significant offers to one or more of these allies to get them to switch sides.

France is coming out of the debacle of 1901 looking quite strong. The initial indications that an Anglo-French alliance was in the making are belied by the quick stab into the Channel and a new fleet in Brest. The French will doubtless gain Spain and make some of the first gains in England. Vargas should expect other nations to start looking for their place on his dance card for the next phase of the game.

Germany is an interesting case study in how alliances don't always work out the way you planned. Encouraged by some other power (perhaps England?) to drive to Warsaw, Steve (G) gets halfway there, turns around just as he's about the spike the ripe plum in the end zone (sorry - I'll put away my metaphor blender now) and builds a fleet! Although slightly weak compared to the other powers at the moment, a nation with a drive for vengeance can be like Gollum, tenaciously clinging to the back of the power that said "let's you and him fight" and biting their fingers off. Germany should make entertaining viewing for the rest of the game.

Italy is one of the nations that has benefited from the chorus of cheers to take down Russia. Weather Wizard quietly put his forces into position and struck decisively for the greatest effect. Now that Trieste is in Italian hands, the key weakness of Italy is neutralized, and the Italians may be a force to reckon with for the rest of the game. Turkey has already built a new fleet to challenge Italy for the control of the Med.

Russia is also, contrarily, one of the beneficiaries of the crusade against it. Many powers, looking to their own interests, forget that their allies have needs as well. If the deal they've been offered starts to look a little sour (like 'why am I fighting in Russia while France is starting to dominate western Europe?') the allies will turn on you, sooner or later. Russian diplomacy has obviously been very active, turning critical powers to the anti-Russian coalition against their neighbors, akin to the Prussian "Miracle of the House of Brandenburg" where the Prussians of the 1760s survived simultaneous assaults by the French, Austrians, and Russians. Indeed, Russia is now the leading power with 6 units.

Turkey loudly announced her intentions with a fleet build. One hopes her share of the dissolution of Austria will be large, because she'll need it to secure Greece from the Italians. There is also the question of the Russian fleet in Rumania - how will the Black Sea balance be maintained in Kodi's new alliance with Russia?

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