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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-08-17 08:52:56
Diplomacy IV - Fall 1904
Play the home version by following these forum threads! The adjudicator is also running a side game of wagering for spectators.
The image below depict the latest states of the board. A larger version is available for viewing by clicking on it.
Adjudicator Steve W.'s analysis:
There may be those who say it is ill-advised, nay, even foolhardy, but I shall press on with the attempt to interpret this game through the cultural lens of the TV series Friends.
I am sorry to say that in this analogy, the Archduke is Gunther. Poor guy never really had a chance, but he does sling a mean mug of coffee.
Is Chandler Bing. Chandler was truly one of my favorite things about the TV show, but despite (or perhaps because of) his wit and sarcasm, he was never taken seriously by the other characters. England was likely one of the instigators of the 'let's all get Russia' openings in 1901, but his warnings were not taken seriously enough by his partners in the alliance. Even as Germany and France turned on him, they foolishly did not take him seriously enough, and the Prime Minister was able to fight off the inelegant attempts to land forces on the Sceptered Isle for so long that the Germans and French have apparently given up on seizing London in favor of defending themselves from the Eastern Hordes.
Is Joey Tribbiani. Joey's got the look of success and is able to woo some partners to his side, but suffers a lot of setbacks just as he rises to the cusp of achievement. France looked really good early in the game, gaining 6 centers by 1902 and fielding massive fleets and armies. The President of the Third Republic now has sway over 8 supply centers, and has a powerful place among the remaining nations, but there are signs of a possible fall from grace. Italian fleets are pounding at the gates of Iberia and the Atlantic. The alliance with Germany is shattered, conceivably just as it became most important to stop the Russian behemoth. Speaking of which, is Russia truly a friend to France at this point in the game? The next few turns will reveal whether this is similar to the times when Joey has won roles on major soap operas, then buys a lot of new furniture/toys, only to find out the next day that his character has been not temporarily killed, but really, permanently killed off.
Is Ross Geller. Ross, like Germany, has the best of intentions, but cannot always understand the reactions of others to his moves. Germany unfortunately finds itself surrounded by opponents the Kaiser did not seek. Also, like Ross, Germany has had many marria- er, I mean alliances, in this game. Germany has allied with England, Russia, and France (unlike Ross, at least none of the alliances produced children). Ross marries and divorces three times in the series. It's a shame Germany seems to be losing centers rapidly to Russia, Italy, and France - I would love to see how a love of dinosaurs or the monkey Marcel would manifest in the game.
Is Rachel Green. Italy has made systematic progress in the game against first Austria, then Turkey, and now France, just as Rachel systematically moved up in the fashion world from Bloomingdale's to Paris. Italy, also like Jennifer Aniston's character, is a very attractive ally in the game and has entered a cohabiting relationship with Monica. As Russia begins to sprint for the finish, there remains some question of whether Italy should instead move in with Joey and finish the game sharing an apartment with him. Certainly the relationship with Monica has helped Italy grow as a friend, but it makes less and less sense as Russian growth towards victory outstrips Italian growth.
Is very definitely Monica. Notice how she fastidiously maintains her border with Italy clear of any significant chance of a stab, akin to Monica's obsessive cleanliness? When Russia insists, the rest of the board pays heed. The Tsarina has been rearranging the board to her liking for much of the game and the best anyone else can seem to offer in conflict is a stammered "uh - but - well - OK" before that bug-eyed furious silent look of Courtney Cox Arquette's shushes them into acquiescence. On TV, Monica pretty much always got her way, and the same appears to be playing out on the board, from the sudden turnaround of various armies headed for Russia early in the game to the recent French stab of Germany for Holland. Along with Italy, Russia is tied for the nation with the highest percentage of successful moves (about 95%.) While Cox Arquette never won an award for Friends, things may be different for Russia if current trends continue.
Is Phoebe Buffay. While Phoebe may have been known for being a little ditzy, she had a street-smart and tough edge to her, as she had lived in a burned out Buick and resorted to mugging and stabbing cops to survive. Turkey was similarly smart and tough in the fighting in the Balkans early in the game. Also similarly to Phoebe, Turkey never really matched relationship/alliance-wise to any of the other friends, leading to her eventual isolation and destruction. (Well, OK, that part's not like what happens in Friends.
I hope folks don't find this offensive. :o)
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2009-08-17 08:54:42
Damn, Kang. We're crazy hawt and need to make out ASAP. I'm apparently outstripping you.