Diplomacy A-Z, Version 6.0

A Entries

Games which never come to a final conclusion. Causes include player disinterest (e.g.76ED), GM folding (73BE) (often these are connected) and games which never actually get started (77DS), or victims of infanticide.
ABERRATION IV (1) [MB:Jun80/Mar82]
Rod Walker's 1969 9-person variant (Spain and Sweden added). Units were given "combat factor" depending on combat history. Also the name of a different Fred C. Davis variant (no relation). See also Variant (KW).
In these, geography is not supposed to represent any real area, or specific fantasy setting. Includes Space Station Ultra (Kendter), Ancient Empires (John Boyer), Jefferson Diplomacy (Howard Mahler). Most are symmetric -- each player begins with an identical position. See also Variant Jargon (KW).
ABSTRACTION (1) [PB/MB:1980/Jun80]
Fred C. Davis' 1969 variant for 7 players on an expanded board is generally considered one of the best. The piggy back convoy has been used in several other variants, such as Holocaust and Mercator. Stalemate lines are impossible. See also Variant (KW).
Robert Sacks' variant in which the major powers also get neutrals (Aus; A Bel, F Por; E: A Gre; F: A Rum, A Swe; G: A Bul, F Tun; I: A Hol, F Nwy; R: A Ser; T: A Den, A Spa). See Armed Neutrals, Variant (KW).
ADAG (1) [MN:Jun92]
A long running warehouse zine pubbed by Hal Naus from the mid 1960's to early 1980's which very rarely ran articles. See also Zine Names (KW).
What the GM does when he collects all the players' orders together and decides what has happened. (See also Readjudication, Misadjudication.)
A/F (1) [MN:Jul94]
Common abbreviation for Army/Fleet unit. See Army/Fleet combinations and Variant Jargon (KW).
AHIKS [PB:1980]
The Avalon Hill Intercontinental Kriegspiel Society. Group of wargamers now independent of Avalon Hill and noted mainly for its age restrictions to membership. First British Postal Diplomacy game came as a result of then European Secretary Don Turnbull 'getting the bug' in 1968.
ALBION (1) [MN:Mar92]
The first UK 'diplomacy zine' (really a wargamer's zine) pubbed by Don Turnbull. Issue 1 appeared in August 1969 and issue 50, the last, in January 1975.

The games were soon moved into _Courier_ and _Albion_ became really a genzine covering wargames in general. _Albion_ was the second zine to be published outside of North America (and the first by a non-American) and not surprisingly was the first 'international' zine having strong links with the North American hobby and running a number of international dip games. See also Zine Names (KW).

ALIAS (1) [MB:Jun80+Mar82]
Players occasionally play under other names for fun or to disguise gender or identity. Generally acceptable if GM is informed. The first alias was Bruce Pelz's "Admiral Grauhugel" in John Boardman's first regular seven man game, 1963B. The most famous is "Eric Blake" which allowed John Boardman to play two positions simultaneously and win 1964C, and at least eight names used by Michel Feron in Belgium. Zines have been published under pseudonyms (_FLD_, Anubis).
Someone who will stab you as soon as it suits him/her.
ALLIANCE (1) [SS:Jan95]
In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot separately plunder a third. Ambrose Bierce
ALLIANCES (1) [DKi:Aug94]
A wartime joke cited by Churchill in his memoirs is appropriate here:
'One incident preserved by General Ismay in an apocryphal and somewhat lively form may be allowed to lighten the narrative. His orderly, a Royal Marine, was shown the sights of Moscow by one of the Intourist guides. "This," said the Russian, is the Eden Hotel, formerly the Ribbentrop Hotel. Here is Churchill Street, formerly Hitler Street. Here is the Beaverbrook railway station, formerly Goering railway station. Will you have a cigarette, comrade?" The Marine replied, "Thank you, comrade, formerly bastard!"'
---_The Grand Alliance_, p. 468
A listing of all British Diplomacy zines that have pubbed 50, or more, issues. First produced by Geoff Challinger and printed in Home of The Brave 50 (August 1985). Due to the number of zines that have now produced 50, or more, issues it isn't worth updating this list. See Century Club for details of British zines to publish more than 99 issues.
  1. Courier (Turnbull) 231*
  2. BDC Journal (Turnbull) 169
  3. Greatest Hits (Pete Birks) 124*
  4. Mad Policy (Richard Walkerdine) 109*
  5. 1901 And All That (Bullock) 104
  6. Chimaera (Booth) 102
  7. Fall of Eagles (Hucknall) 91
  8. Dolchstoss (Sharp) 89*
  9. PTN (Mearns/Bruce) 86
  10. Tinamou (Brown) 74
  11. Watch Your Back (Wilman) 74
  12. Match Abandoned (Philips) 73*
  13. RGR (Watts) 70*
  14. Ethil The Frog (Piggott) 69
  15. Ode (Marsden) 67*
  16. War Bulletin (Berg/Patterson) 65
  17. NMR! (Creese Bain) 62*
  18. Acoloyte (Tamyln) 60
  19. Jigsaw (Taylor) 60
  20. Lemming Express (Lovibond/Howes/Thorby) 60
  21. Phyrric Victory (Allaway) 58
  22. Last Stand (Northcott) 54
  23. Bellicus (Haven) 53
  24. Fillibuster (Baird) 53
  25. Pendulum (Coombes) 52
  26. Herald (Hood) 51
  27. Hopscotch (Parr) 51*
  28. Albion (Turnbull) 50
  29. Bruce (Simpkins) 50*
  30. Home of The Brave (Challinger) 50*
* indicates a zine that was still active at the time of the survey. An interesting (?) statistic produced by Richard Walkerdine is that 91% of all zines fold by issue 50.
A listing of all North American Diplomacy zines that have pubbed 150, or more, issues.
  1. Graustark (Boardman) 621*
  2. Runestone (Leeder) 375
  3. BOAST (Barents) 359*
  4. Dippy (Benes) 350*
  5. Hoosier Archives (Buchanan et al.) 332
  6. Bushwacker (Davis) 234
  7. Liberterrean (Bumpas, Kolowski) 232
  8. Costaguana (von Metkze) 231*
  9. Ter-tan (Heinowski) 209*
  10. Fol Si Fie (Smythe) 202
  11. Kaissa (Hinton) 200
  12. Kathy's Korner (Caruso) 198*
  13. EFGIART (Beyerlein) 186
  14. The Gamer's Zine (Whiskeyman) 182*
  15. A Droite A Gauche (Naus) 174
  16. The Appalachian General (McCrumb) 157*
  17. Brobdingnag (Schultz, McCallum et al) 155
  18. Yggdrasil Chronicle (Van De Graaf) 155
  19. Cheesecake (Lischett) 151*
* indicates a zine that is still active as of November 1993.
The theory of rating standbys whereby the standby is rated for the game only if it helps his rating (e.g. Brobdingnag). See Rating Systems (KW).
Nick Fitzpatrick's rating system, originally published in _Gateway_ 1 (May 1994). 6 points for a win (final player to play position); 0 points for a draw; -1 points for a loss, being abandoned/ replaced or eliminated; 1 point for taking over an abandoned position. Players rating is then their average score over all games. Hence this ranking system is zero sum with players ranking ranging from -1 (loses every game) to +7 (wins every game played and is a replacement in games not won). See also Hall of Fame and Rating Systems (KW).
ANNUALP (1) [MN:Sep95]
A game played on the EFF Judge. Notable for the Fall 1909 phase which saw all six Austrian provinces occupied, each by a different nation; none of which was Austria! A rare occurance:
England: Army Galicia
France: Army Tyrolia
Germany: Army Bohemia
Italy: Army Trieste
Russia: Army Vienna
Turkey: Army Budapest
ALPINE CHICKEN (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Sep95]
A(Ven)-Pie, A(Rom)-Ven, F(Nap)-ION is a somewhat temporizing opening, generally seen as pro-T and anti-F. Both east and west options are preserved. The Tyrrhenian Variation is also known as the Venice Variation of the French Attack. Named by Richard Sharp. See Konigratz Freakout and Italian Openings (KW).
AMAZON GAME (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Sep93]
A game with, at least initially, only women. The first two were started by Ray Bowers in his _Midwestern Courier_, 1972FK (won by Carol Buchanan) and 1973BH. Jack Fleming started another in _Paranoiacs' Monthly_ in 1981, it took 11 months to fill the list.
Annual Australian awards for excellence in the Diplomacy hobby decided by vote of hobby members. Categories include Best Diplomat, Best GM, Best Press Release, Best Article, Best Letter to the Editor, Best Artwork, and One Heck of a Nice Person. The Chief Editor's Award of Special Merit is also so bestowed by the Editor-in-Chief of _The Envoy_. See Hobby Awards (KW).
ANAGRAMS (1) [HR:Sep02]
Some amusing Diplomacy-related anagrams:
"The Game of Diplomacy" -> Employ magic of death.
"The Abyssinian Prince" -> Brainy, nice thespians; Piranha by insistence; An inane, bitchy pisser.
France-Austria-Russia: Saucier anus farts air.
See Humour.
ANARCHY (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Nov92]
A family of variants which, in the ultimate form, each of 34 players start with one unit in one home center. Can be cut to 17 players with 2 home centers, etc.
The 34 player version (known as Chaos II) was run FTF to ManorCon for several years and several games have been played by email and snail mail. Issue 300 of _Chapter Two_ (18th November 1992) contained a long article by Danny Loeb covering the game Fontenoy, which finished as a win in Fall 1920. See also Variant (KW).
ANARCHY (2) [TNP:1987]
An irreversible state of Civil Disorder which occurs when a player stops sending in orders, unless standbys are used.
Lipscomb's 7 player variant set in the Mediterranean basin set around 300BC. See also variant (KW).
A special issue which need not fall exactly on the anniversary of a zines's start, often double in size. The editor usually tries to get original articles from others to fill it, and may advertise for them. A classic was _Pouch_ #53 (75 pages).
See Hobby Favourites Awards.
ANONYMITY (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Nov92]
Don Miller's 1966 variant in which players do not know each other's identity, communicating only via press. Occasionally GMs have tried to act as a remailing point for direct mail --- even in one case to retyping! Some have reverted to regular games when identities became known. The version where communication occurs only through press was revived in the 1980's under the name of Gunboat. See also variant (KW).
ANSCHLUSS (1) [MB/RE/MN:Jun80/89-90/Aug95]
Richard Sharp's strategic notion that Germany should, in the early game, strive to keep Austria strong to reduce both powers' vulnerability as central (and surrounded) powers. Although they take their name from the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in March 1938, Anschluss alliances are generally regarded as essentially pro-Austrian, with Germany using diplomatic leverage to discourage other powers --- in particularly Russia (with the threat of standing him out of Sweden in 1901) --- from attacking his ally. Tactically it entails F(Kie)-Den and A(Mun)H or standoff in Bur or Tyr, or even entering Tyr, and Italy is told that this unit will aid Austria if Italy attacks. The advantage for Germany is that it is statistically provable that the latter power is far less likely to win if Austria is eliminated early in the game.

All Anschluss opening involve the move F(Kie)-Den. There are five variants:
Anschluss Proper : A(Ber)-Kie, A(Mun)H;
Berlin Variant : A(Ber)-Kie, A(Mun)-Ber;
Bohemian Variant: A(Ber)-Kie, A(Mun)-Boh;
Burgundy Variant: A(Ber)-Kie, A(Mun)-Bur;
Ruhr Variant : A(Ber)-Mun, A(Mun)-Ruhr;
Silesia Variant : A(Ber)-Kie, A(Mun)-Sil;
Tyrolean Variant : A(Ber)-Kie, A(Mun)-Tyr.

The Anschluss is the idea behind a Fred C. Davis Jnr variant designed in the late 1960's (before Richard Sharp devised his strategic notion of the Anschluss): GERMANY vs REST OF THE WORLD. The basic idea is that the best way to encourage Austria and Germany to ally is if the same player plays both countries. Hence this, six-player, game contains a "super-nation".

The Burgundy variation was named by Mark Berch as the Denmark Variation of the Burgundy Attack.

See Austrian Openings (KW), German Openings (KW), Interior Alliance and Super-nation.

Richard Sharp's name for the opening: F(Nap)-ION, A(Rom)-Ven and A(Ven)-Apu. Named by Mark Berch as the Rotation Lepanto. See also Italian Openings (KW), Lepanto.
One of the earliest variants designed in Scandinavia. Based on 'Operation Desert Storm'. Played in several Scandinavian zines, among them the designer Roland Isaksson's own, Granslandet.
Walt Buchanan's survey of all present publishers, listed by order of when they started, plus addresses. Presently not being maintained.
ArGir (1) [MN:Feb93]
A rating system designed for face-to-face tournament play by Vincent Archer and Bruno-Andre Giraudon, used by the French Diplomacy Federation for its official tournaments. Players receive 1 point per supply owned, 1 point for participating in the game, and 37 points for being the player with the greatest number of supply, 14 for the second, and 7 for the third. A win scores 93 points (34+37+14+7+1), all others 1. If a game is agreed a draw before the time limit then all surviving players share 92 points equally, regardless of the number of centers, and add their 1 participation point.

This system ensures that a 'win' at 7 centers (the lower total possible greater than all the other's scores) will score more points than a 2nd at 16 centers (the highest total possible when ranked 2nd) or than a tie at 17 centers. See also Rating Systems (KW).

ArGir II (1) [VA:Dec93]
A revision of the ArGir I system which uses the hypothesis that a player winning alone scores always more than two or more players tied at the first place with the same number of centers.
  1. There are 99 points distributed in each game
  2. All players score 1 point (which distinguish players eliminated. It's better to be eliminated twice than to play only once and be eliminated. Not much of a motivation, though)
  3. If there's a 18-centers win, the remaining 92 points go to the winner.
  4. If not, the players are ranked according to their number of centers. All add their number of centers, plus a bonus: +37 for the 1st place +14 for the 2nd +7 for the 3rd and no bonus for the remaining places. (an 18-centers win gives you 93 pts total, a 12-centers win will give you 48 pts)

The bonuses have been calculated that no matter how many centers one has, a player alone at first place gets more points than any number of players tied at the first place, more points than any player ranked second, a player ranked second always more points than a third, and a third always more points than the other players (only the first 3 ranks are considered 'worthy' of notice).

With this system, a 18-centers win gives you about the same number of points than two 'partial' wins. A notable advantage, but not one that will ensure you victory over the tournament on the strength of the full win alone; you still need to rank good (i.e. in the top three places) in one or two games, or hope that no one is able to secure two or three wins (most tournaments are scored on two-three rounds). This is possible in small tournaments, but France saw two tournaments this year in which there was more than 14 tables played *at once*; given more than 100 players, the probability that one or two score only wins is not that small... See also Rating Systems (KW).

A variant in which the neutrals begin with their own units, or, in the "Lebling" version, in civil disorder. See Active Neutrals and Variant (KW).
ARMENIA (1) [MN:Aug94]
In _The Numbers Game_ 16 (May 1992) Richard Sharp analysed Turkish Openings played in British Postal Games (1969-1992). He found that Turkey nearly always gets into Armenia if he tries for it. In 70% of the games no-one ordered there; Turkey entered Armenia in 29% of the game; Russia entered Armenia in 0.7% of the games and in 0.3% of the games there was a standoff. See also Black Sea.
ARMOURED DUCK (1) [MB/RE:Jun80/89-90]
Richard Sharp's label for the player who, having been stabbed, will never again negotiate with the stabber. His unrelenting hostility to the rogue who stabbed him will override all other considerations - even if it means letting another player win the game. He will carry the memory into every other game he plays, and will make no secret of his cross-game vendetta. Armoured ducks are also noted for preferring one, stable, enduring alliance that will last a game through (and perhaps longer). They will seek out a player they believe they can trust in, and - if the game develops that way - may prove happy to help him win.

Armoured ducks always believe everyone else shares their attitude, and when they make a stab of their own, will be reluctant to "make peace" with their victim at a later date, for fear of the same, vengeful obsessiveness in return.

An opening for Italy involving A(Ven)-Pie and A(Rom)-Ven. (Nowadays this opening is called the Alpine Chicken -- MN 13/8/93). See also Italian Openings (KW).
provide an alternative to a regular Diplomacy convoy which allows armies to be carried further and operate more closely with fleets. In the Davis A/F rules, the army starts the turn in a coastal province, then moves *onto* a fleet in an adjacent sea space. The fleet, with the army on board, may then move to another sea space. The army may then remain aboard for another two turns, or end that turn by disembarking into an adjacent coastal space. The A/F rules for Mercator further develop and clarify their operation; Multiplicity allows a different kind of A/F combination similar to other Multiple Units. By now you will have worked out the usual abbreviation. See Variant Jargon (KW).
An agreement whereby two players attack a given space with equal force. This may be done to keep a third party from entering, and as an expensive but safe way to keep a buffer zone open, e.g. a standoff in BLA in S01. Generally done in the most sensitive area mutually adjacent to the two pieces. See also Tyrolia.
Bruce Linsey's name for the anti-Russian opening of F Ank-Bla, A Smy-Arm, A Con-Ank. See also Turkish Openings (KW).
English Fall 01 F Nth C A Yor-Nwy, F Eng-Mid. England passes up the slim chance of Bre for the forward position. (The Mid is much harder to take once France builds a second fleet.) If expelled, the fleet can move to WES threatening Spain, Tunis and Lyon. Used in 1980AY and (without the convoy) in 1973GI. See English Openings (KW).
Fred C. Davis' variant set in the pseudo 1870's (The Confederacy is allowed to survive). It uses the abstraction convoy and off-board boxes, but is not as balanced as Abstraction. See Variant (KW).
AUSaGA (1) [AoS:88]
Abbreviation for Adelaide University Simulation Gaming Association which published _Austral View_ after taking it over from Richard Williams. _The Saga Continues..._ was another of their publications. AUSaGA also organizes Sagacon.
AUSTRIA (1) [JK:May78]
A Dippy veteran of some reputation was teaching his little brother the complexities of the game. Suddendly the little tyke (as little tykes are wont to do) asked, "Suppose you're playing Austria and an Italian-Turkish alliance is giving you trouble. What do you do?"
"I'd try to talk Russia into taking Turkey off my back," the veteran replied.
"What if Russia was too busy fighting with England to help you?"
"I'd form an alliance, or try do, with France to neutralize Italy."
"What if France and Italy had an unshakeable non-agression pact?"
"I'd sell my soul to Germany if she would give my units support."
"What if Germany wouldn't talk to you?"
"I'd call my friend Bernie."
"Bernie?!! What could he do?"
"Nothing. He just likes to watch Austria get creamed off the board."
Reprinted from _Impassable_ 50 (5th May 1978).
Russia's second most popular opening: A(Mos)-Ukr, A(War)-Gal, F(Sev)-Rum, generally means that Russia is confident he has a Turkish ally against Austria. A drawback is that the fleet in Rum is poorly placed. Named variations:
F(StPsc)-Fin (Austrian Attack, Finnish Variation),
F(StPsc)-GOB (Austrian Attack),
F(StPsc) H (Austrian Attack, Houseboat Variation),
F(StPsc)-Lvn (Austrian Attack, Livonian Variation). See Russian Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp also used this opening to describe the moves F(Nap)-ION, A(Rom)-Ven, A(Ven)-Tri. Nowdays this opening is called the Stab Lepanto. See Italian Openings (KW).
The Austrian Hobby has two qualifying events (games played to 1907). The top three players from each of these, and the prior year's champion, go to the top board for the championship. Only the players from the qualifying games have a crack at the championship title. A separate event, the Austrian Open Diplomacy Cup event is just that, an open event.
Year    1st           2nd          3rd
1991 Kaweh Kristof Ewald Tuwora Fritz Kunz
Diplomacy tournament ran for players who do not qualify for the Austrian Diplomacy Championship. Year 1st 2nd 3rd 1991 Kaweh Kristof Jacques-Henri Strauss Leonhard Orgler
Named Austrian Openings include: Anschluss, Balkan Gambit, Balkan Gambit (Bohemia Abberation), Balkan Gambit (Budapest Variation), Balkan Gambit (Galician Variation), Balkan Gambit (Trieste Variation), Balkan Gambit (Tyrolian Variation), Balkan Gambit (Vienna Variation), Balkan Gambit (Vienna Lemming Variation), Blue Water Opening, Blue Water Opening (Italian Attack Variation), Bulgarian Gambit, Fisher's Folly, Galician Gambit, Head-on Galician, Hedgehog, Hedgehog (Alpine Variation), Hedgehog (Dead Porcupine Variation), Hedgehog (Fisher's Folly Variation), Hedgehog (Great Northern Variation), Hedgehog (Hungarian Variation), Hedgehog (Porcupine Variation), Hedgehog (Southern Variation), Hedgehog (True Variation), Hedgehog (Tyrolese Variation), Houseboat Openings, Houseboat Opening (Crichton's Variation), Houseboat Opening (Hungarian Variation), Houseboat Opening (Paranoia Defence), Houseboat Opening (Southern Hedgehog Variation), Houseboat Opening (True Hedgehog Variation), Ionian Gauntlet, Interior Alliance, Italian Attack, Kendall Key Opening, Key Lepanto, Key Opening, Reverse Lepanto, Roadhog, Rumanian Gambit, Russian Frolic, Southern Hedgehog, Superpower Opening, Swanson Opening, Three Fleets Opening, Tyrolese Gambit, Von Metzke Opening and Warthog.
The Diplomacy year is divided into three sections: spring moves, autumn (Fall) moves, and winter adjustments. To save time, postal games incorporate adjustments with one of the other seasons and they appear on the same adjudications either before spring orders (Spring Winter) or after Autumn orders (Autumn Winter). Most Australian and European games use Autumn Winter. Most games in the USA are Spring Winter.
AVALON HILL [PB/JM:1980/1992]
A game company which recently purchased the rights to the production of the game of Diplomacy in the USA (Philmar retains the rights in Britain, but the Avalon Hill version is obtainable at specialist stores). Originally intended to be an adult games company, the success of 'Tactics II', 'Chancellorsville' and 'Waterloo', its first three board wargames, pushed them in this direction. Held the field virtually unchallenged until the appearance of SPI in the early 1970s.

The purchase of the rights to the game by Avalon Hill was widely expected to give a boost to the hobby. That boost turned out to be more quantative that qualitive. What Avalon Hill's purchase did do, however, was to add a level of legitimacy to the game that only a large, commerical company can offer. As part of AH's large array of offerings the game was presented again, to a new market of potential players, in the context of an 'Avalon Hill offering'.

A4, A5, A6 [PB:1980]
Obscure references by zine editors to paper sizes and prices.

The whole A-Z, in pdf format, is HERE

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