Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Diplomacy: usually my strong suit, but not here

It seems that the game Diplomacy is rife amongst my colleagues who work in Edmonton. As Kevin Steel's and Colby Cosh's accounts of the latest until-dawn Diplomacy fest show, Diplomacy can be a very intense game.

You begin with a map of turn of the 20th century Europe. Up to seven players can be various countries (such as Austria-Hungary, England, etc.). The aim of the game, with each turn being a season of a year, is to wind up having the biggest slice of Europe at the end.

You win by striking alliances with other players in negotiations between turns and working together. Being a scheming, lying, backstabbing ne'er do well can work well too.

I've never played the game, but I always enjoy their accounts of the games. Kevin, for example, dubs Colby the evil Vampire Napoleon who would have won despite the fact that he was playing with a mouse and Pinky from the TV show Pinky and the Brain. I've played Risk...the lower skill, no negotiations knock-off version of Diplomacy. (When picking, everyone tries to grab Australia or South America first, nobody goes for Asia, etc.)

Perhaps Colby and Kevin can answer a question for it possible to win at Diplomacy if you never negotiate or talk to any other player and try to play completely on your own? What's happened when someone has tried it in a game you have played? Did everyone gang up on that player?