Diplomacy A-Z, Version 6.0

N & O Entries

See North American Diplomacy Federation.
See North American Diplomacy Players' Survey.
If you are unfortunate enough to have a common name, it is possible that someone else playing postal Diplomacy will also have it. Since they were around before you, you may suffer the ignominy in ratings and game results in _New Statsman_ to have a (II) put between your first and last name. Such is life.
Richard Sharp's name for a risky version of the Lepanto where Italy opens A(Rom)-Nap instead of the usual A(Rom)-Apu, risking the loss of Venice in Autumn 1901. Its only merit is to appear as pro-Austria as possible. Strictly speaking a Naples Lepanto involves A(Ven)H. See Italian Openings (KW).
The British National Diplomacy Championship is held at MidCon each year. The tournament is based upon a player's aggregate scores over two rounds of Diplomacy. Previous winners: 1981 David Long, 1982 Nick Carter, 1983 Jim Mills, 1984 Andrew Sparkes, 1985 Martin Clifford-King, 1986 Ian Andrews, 1987 Jim Mills, 1988 Bob Kendrick, 1989 Pete Mason, 1990 Andrew Moss, 1991 Peter Hawkings, 1992 Julian Shepley, 1993 Neil Kendrick and 1994 Bob Kendrick.
Jack Masters' most electrifying hoax. This involved 6 regional tournaments, with winners competing in Las Vegas for a $25 000 prize, complete with "pari-mutual wagering and coverage by ABC Wide World of Sports." Quite a few people were fooled.
Sponsored by Philmar, it was to have been an UK-wide face to face Diplomacy tournament, with regional heats and a final in London in Oct 1979.
Possibly the earliest non-geographically based dip organization, it was active in the 1960's and was headed at one time by Rod Walker.
Once upon a time, Graeme Levin asked Richard Sharp to run the BDC games from numbers 8 onwards. Don Turnbull had run six of the first seven, and Hartley Patterson ran the other. Richard Sharp agreed, and thus _Dolchstoss_, the magazine of the NGC (of which Richard was Secretary) was born. The success of this operation, however, proved too much for a single zine/gamesmaster, and the flood of applications for membership as a result of fliers in the box (25/30 a month rising to 60 shortly after Christmas) meant that Richard Sharp asked for other 'editors' to take NGC games. Thus was split 'the hobby', between NGC zines and 'independent' zines. In 1974 the NGC was 'democratized' in that all the functions had become too much for Richard, and they were 'hived off' to elected representatives. This worked relatively well for one year, reasonably well for a second, when _Dolchstoss_ became a subzine to Victor Ludlum run by the new General Secretary John Piggott.

By this time many of the 'NGC' zines were starting their own games from the loyal subscribers (which caused a fuss at the time--God knows why) and the whole idea finally died when Richard Sharp 'de-officialized' _Dolchstoss_. By 1978 the NGC was effectively dead, and all we have missed is an efficient way of introducing newcomers to the hobby. Hopefully we have now found that. A North American affiliate, run by Randolph Smyth, never really got off the ground.

NAVB (1) [MN:Dec92]
Common abbreviation for the North American Variant Bank, the world's largest collection of Diplomacy variants and recognized by most variant fans as being the decider of most matters relating to variant classification. Set up in the 1970's it has had a succession of custodians. Between 1980 and November 1985 the Custodian was Rod Walker who devised the cataloging system now used and known as ARDA numbers. The next custodian was Fred C. Davis who passed the bank to Lee Kendter Jnr on April 15th, 1989. Fred had built the bank up to over 900 variants, growing by over one third in the last three years of his custodianship, mainly due to the contribution of designs from Britain and Germany. See Variant Jargon (KW).
A catalogue of the NAVB produced by the NAVB custodian. In addition to Diplomacy variants it also lists some non-diplomacy games. Fred C. Davis and Bruce Geryk produced the 1987-1988 catalogue. See Variant Jargon (KW).
NAVB-NORTH (1) [MN:Jan93]
The Canadian Branch of the NAVB. Relaunched by Ron Brown in September 1986. See Variant Jargon (KW).
NBR [PB:1980]
No builds received. A common error, and frequently fatal, by people not used to the conditional build system.
NEED A GAME (1) [MB/PG:Jun80+Mar82/Dec93]
A list of US openings in regular Diplomacy, giving publisher's name, address and originally the number of years he has been GMing. Traditionally published in _DW_. Original compiler was the _DW_ editor, later by Lee Kendter, Sr.

For a time two services were available: _Known Game Openings_ (Sacks) and _Pontevedria_ (Walker). Both cover standard and variant games, and both eventually disappeared. _Pontevedria_ (revived by Phil Reynolds) includes pubbers seeking standby players as well, and in November 1993 was passed onto Andrew York.

NELSON, Mark Ian (1) [MN:Jul94]
Active in the British Hobby since 1984, active in the international hobby since the Summer of 1987 and involved in the e-mail world since the Summer of 1990. A Diplomacy phreak who has published over 200 fanzines and has had many, many plans for really useful Diplomacy projects; Diplomacy AZ is one of the few that got past the 'this is a really good idea' stage... Was a schoolboy editor who didn't live up to the name. Has been UKVB Custodian since 10th July 1994 --- recognition at last! Prior to this was UKVB Archivist.

Nominated for the Rod Walker Award in 1994 for his article 'The Two-Way Alliance' (_Diplomacy World_ 71). As well as the Diplomacy AtoZ Mark is also responsible for producing the STALEMATES:AY and VARIANT:AZ packages. See Nelson's Rule!

NELSON'S RULE (1) [MN:Aug94]
Formulated by Dustin Laurence, based on Mark Nelson's voluminous posts to the RGD discussion on goofy play: The only goofy players are the ones who think that goofy play exists. Dustin wryly adds: "This is an eloquence that Mark himself can't achieve." 8-)
Substitute orders in place of All Units Hold in case of a NMR. The purpose is to avoid grossly unbalancing the game. They are especially important for Italy and England, who cannot easily gain a neutral without moving in both S01 and F01, but all countries except France can easily be denied a neutral if they do not move in S01. The usual criterion for S01 is that it can be a fairly ordinary move which does not place a piece alongside another's home center, with the exception of the Tri/Ven area, obviously. The most difficult problems occur with A(Vie) and F(Kie). Sometimes also used for F01 and W01, but very rarely later on in the game. Often these are listed in the HR's, which avoids a lot of ill feelings. Some times an outside person, who may not be named, will supply them. In the US and Canada, the majority of GMs use this system, though not in England.
In Diplomacy and variants, a country or province which contains a supply centre not owned by anyone at the start of the game. The first year of a game of Diplomacy is often spend dividing up the neutrals. See Winter 1901 Neutrals.
NEW BLOOD (1) [MB:Jun80+Mar82]
A listing of names and addresses of persons who appear to be entering the hobby, with the implied invitation to pubbers to send them samples of their wares. Zines that have listed these in the past include _Graustark_, _Hoosier Archives_ and _Runestone_. In March 1982 available on an approximately quarterly basis as a _Pontevedria_ Supplement.
A genzine produced by Mick Bullock intermittently, which contains records of all rated postal Diplomacy games, gamestarts, players' ratings, opening frequencies of countries, the annual zine poll and virtually everything else you wanted to know about the hobby but were afraid to ask. See Zine Names (KW).
A collection of creative and well known New York City players and publishers of the mid 1970's, including Edi Birsan, John Boardman, Greg Costikyan, Matt Diller, Ben Grossman, Brad Hessel, Evan Jones, Bob Lipton, Howard Mahler, Gil Neiger, Jeremy Paulson, Arnold Proujanski, Mike Rocamora, Scott Rosenberg, Bob Sacks, Stephen Tihor, Nick Ulanov.
NEWSZINE (1) [MB:Jun80]
A zine designed to distribute news of the hobby. Includes _Bulletynne Boarde_ and, for a while, _Utopia, Ltd_.
NFP [PB:1980]
Not for Publication. Letters to editors run the risk of being published unless this is placed at the top of the letter. (Think of editors as journalists. It's not much use saying 'Off the Record' afterwards, because it may already be typed up.)
See National Fantasy Fan Federation Games Bureau.
NGC (1) [MN:Apr92]
Common abbreviation for National Games Club.
Devised by Richard Sharp in the mid 1970s and kept by Wink Thompson after Richard's departure from the hobby in 1979. Restarted by Richard when he re-entered the hobby in 1984 under the new name of the Dolchstoss Rating System. The rating system has evolved with time.

Basic System

  1. The game rating is the sum of the player ratings at the time the rating is calculated.
  2. Every new player is considered to have played one previous game, in which he has scored 100 points.
  3. For finished games, the game rating points are divided up as follows: 1st, 30%, 2nd 20%, 3rd 15%, 4th 10%, others 5%. The remaining 10% is shared among the survivors pro rota, based on their supply centre counts.
  4. In unfinished games, eliminees and dropouts share the remainder: half equally and half pro rota based on s.c. counts.
  5. A player's rating is his total score divided by his number of games.


  1. Experienced player bonus: Players with 5 or more finishes (a finish being completion of a player's part in the game without dropping out) discard their worst 20% of scores and the notional first game.
  2. Dropouts: Resigning counts as dropping out, the only difference being that a player who resigns finishes ahead of a player who drops out the same season. Dropouts are treated as habing been eliminated in the season in which they drop. THey are scored as usual, but: a) dropout scores cannot be discarded under the experienced player rule; b) dropout scors are not counted uf they would improve the player's rating.
  3. Dropout Ratings: Players who have dropped out of at least one third of their games have a penalty applied to their rating *for ranking purposes only* as follows: if they have dropped out of 33-50%, the calculated rating is divided by n=1, where n is the number of dropouts. Above 50% the divisor is n+2.
  4. Abandoned games: A game is treated as abandoned if Spring 1901 was not played (or is not known). Other games are treated as draws between survivors.
  5. Standby players: These are disregarded. If a standby shares in a draw, the number of participants in the draw is reduced by one; a 2-way draw involving a standby becomes a win.
  6. Player of record: The player who submits Spring 1901 orders is the player of record.

See also Rating Systems (KW).

Rating system designed by Eric Scharf and Ray Sinclair and used at the 1991 Dragonflight (Seattle) tournament. The tournament consisted of seven rounds, played over three days; each round last five and an half hours. WIN: Winner 14 pts, Survivors 7 pts.

2-way draw:     12         6
3-way draw:     10         5
4-way draw:      8         4
5-way draw:      6         3
6-way draw:      4         2
7-way draw:      2         NA

Draw proposals (and votes) were public and were not DIAS. Points were accumulated over the first six rounds. The seventh and final round was seeded with the top seven scorers to present themselves at the first table, the second table with the second seven top scorers, etc. The final round had no additional scoring weight and was 'open-ended' in time length. The name is based on the pseudonyms used by the designers on the BBS on which they met. See Rating Systems (KW).

NIXON AWARD (1) [MB/PG:Mar82/Nov93]
Given by Ron Brown of _Murd'ring Ministers_ for spectacular dishonesty in a postal game. It was won by Al Pearson in 1980 (for 80AF), Kathy Byrne in 1981 (for 81R) and Daf Langley in 1982 (for a game called Tricky-Woo in Cheesecake). Revived by Marc Peters as a poll in late 1993.
NMR (1) [PB/MB/Aos/MN:1980/Jun80/1988/Dec1993]
Abbreviation for No Moves Received, i.e. by the Gamesmaster by the deadline date. Result is that all units stand. In the International System dislodged units are either annihilated or given a retreat space, depending upon the House Rules. The American system sometimes covers No Builds/removals as well.

In the International System if you NMR twice then you will probably be expelled from the game. You have let down not only the GM but the other six players, who have a right to expect you to do your best and give them their money's worth.

For dealing with it, see Goodbye Charlie, IWAP, Neutral Orders, Phantom Orders, Standard Openings and Tretick Standby System -- all alternatives to All Units Hold.

The first postal NMR was by Fred Lerner playing in 1963-A.

NOCCON [PB:1980]
A con held in Northolt, run by Graham Box and Mike Allaway. Seems to be becoming an annual event, for which reason it is mentioned here.
NON-DIAS (1) [AoS:88]
Rating System devised by David Norman and originally printed in _Box Frenzy_ 13 (Febuary 1994).

For each game, there are 1000 points available.
For winning score 580 points.
For being part of a 3-way draw score 266 points. 2-way draw score 350 pts.
For being part of a 5-way draw score 188 points. 4-way draw score 220 pts.
For being part of a 7-way draw score 143 points. 6-way draw score 163 pts.
This will leave n players to share 10n(n+1) points.
For each player who failed to survive, award 1 point per year in the game. For each player who survived, award 1 credit per year of game, plus 1 credit per supply centre owned at the end of the game.
Share the remaining points out in ratio with the credit held by each player.

Calculating a rating.
After one game: rating = points from game multiplied by 0.60.
After two games: rating = average points from games multiplied by 0.80.
After three, or more, games: rating = average points from all games.

Splitting a score:
Where one or more player has played a country, the points earned for that country shall be split between the players, using the following method.

For each country, a score shall be calculated each year, from 1900 to the end of the game. Each year, each country shall be awarded a number of points equal to the square of its supply centre count, except for Russia who shall have 1 centre deducted from its centre count in the years 1900 and 1901, before squaring. The total points in a particular year shall then be calculated. A country's score shall be the percentage of the total points for the year held by that country plus 3/4 of the percentage of the game that has been played, up to that year.

A country which starts with a score of s, ends with a score of e, and at a change of player has a score of n, shall split its points in the ratio n-s:e-n. If there has been two changes of player, at scores n then m, then the points shall be split in the ratio n-s:m-n:e-m, etc.

A player who only plays part of a game, shall have his rating average taken over the fraction of the game which he plays. A player who has played less than 3 games, but more than 1/2 a game, shall have his average score multiplied by (40+20*n)% where n is the number of games he has played in. A player who has played in less than 1/2 a game shall have his average score multiplied by (100*n)%.

See also Rating Systems (KW) and Rating Systems for Standby Players.

A policy whereby all dropped positions are placed in civil disorder. Rare in North America, in recent years upwards of 60% of all British games have used it. It can result in only one player left in the game (1976IR). Pros and cons are discussed in _Dragon and Lamb_ #40-42. In extreme cases, it results in a 6-player game at start (e.g. in 1979EP, in which no Austrian moves were ever made due to immediate dropout), though this is usually avoided by Good-bye Charlie. First zine to run a no-standby policy was Dan Brannan's Wild 'N Wooly.
Organized in 1980 by Rod Walker, its Steering Committee is a collection of Hobby Custodians, such as the BNC, _DW_ editor, Variant Bank heads, who want to coordinate hobby activities, provide for smooth succession when needed, and provide some minimum level of accountability. This is all to be done without changing the custodian's basic responsibility to his job. Provisions also exist for a GM/Publisher's Council, and for sustaining members.
Lew Pulsipher's Poll of the hobby's attitudes, characteristics (age, education, etc), attitudes toward e.g. various game endings, preference in zines, variants, organizations etc. A massive undertaking, the first had 158 respondents and was published in DW #6; the second in DW #9. The third Poll was run by Lew Pulsipher and Bruce Linsey in Summer 1985.
A collection of awards voted on by members of the North American Hobby. The voting occurs in three stages: In the first stage the organizing committee ask for nominations (the Chairman can not be nominated for or win any category, and committee members cannot nominate other members of the committee). In the second stage the committee (usually five or six hobby old timers) select five or six of the nominees in each category and in the final stage the North American Hobby votes; the balloting is often timed so that the winners can be announced at DipCon. Winners receive personal wooden and brass plaques (6" x 8") paid for by voluntary donations from hobby members. There are some large perpetual plaques showing all the winners' names back to 1983, winners are offered the chance to display these plaques in their homes or at cons for a period of nine months (they get to keep the personal plaques).

The Awards program was chaired by Larry Peery from 1983 through 1989, by Ron Cameron through 1992 and by David McCrumb since then. Fred C. Davis Jnr has served as Treasurer for this entire time. (In 1988 Larry Peery was the organizer of the Miller and Koning Awards, Alan Stewart handled the Rod Walker Literary Award).

In 1990 a new award was added, The Melinda Ann Holley Award. Originally for female participation, it changed in 1992 to "quantity participation".

See also Runestone Poll and Marco Poll for two other current North American Hobby Polls. These Polls do not have any links with the above awards.

In postal games run in North America, it is common to split seasons Summer/Autumn and Winter/Spring. This means that a player writes his Autumn orders conditional on any retreats resulting from the Spring adjudication and Spring orders conditional on the Winter builds (with Winter builds being conditional on any Summer retreats!). Most GMs allow the Winter season to be played separately provided a majority of players ask for this separation. See Implied Build for some complications which can occur. See also International System and Three Season Year.
See NAVB, VariantJargon (KW).
Descriptors assigned by Rod Walker to variants held in the NAVB. E.g. PE/04/08: P is "Portions of Europe" category, E is "British Isles" subcategory, 04 is the 4th one in the "PE" group, and 08 means 8 players (this is Gesta Danorum). See Variant Jargon(KW).
In 1989 Glenn Overby ran a Poll to determine the most popular variants in North Ameria. There were 25 ballots which mentioned 37 different variant designs, only 12 of which received more than one vote. The top designs were:
  1. Downfall (Hartley Patterson/ts19) 53.0 pts
  2. Woolworth (Glenn Overby/cb16) 51.5 pts
  3. Perestroika Diplomacy (Larry Cronin/re17) 50.0 pts
  4. Colonia (Fred Hyatt/gh09) 49.0 pts
  5. Gunboat Diplomacy (unknown/rb32) 17.5 pts
  6. Mercator (Doug Wakefield/gp18 17.0 pts

Glenn Overby (Woolworth, 2, Abortion Diplomacy, =9) and Fred C. Davis Jnr (Abstraction, =7, 1885, =9, Atlantica, =15) were the only variant designers to have more than one variant in the top 15.
Results were announced in _Mondoj_ 28 (December 1989) See Hobby Awards (KW) and VariantJargon (KW).

Conducted by John Leeder. 1981 saw the 5th zine and 4th GM poll. (Now known as the Runestone Poll) See Hobby Awards (KW).
See Hobby Awards (KW) and Runestone Poll.
NORTHERN DASH (1) [MB/TNP/RE:Jun80/1987/89-90]
The opening F(Bre)-ENG, A(Par)-Pic, A(Mar)-Bur; probably named by Nicky Palmer. It is debatable whether this is an aggressive defence or defensively aggressive: it could be seen as a French version of the Austrian Hedgehog openings, standing off attacks from England (F(Lon)-ENG) and Germany (A(Mun)-Bur); alternatively, it could be regarded as an all-out bid for Belgium or attack on England. As a defensive posture, it can only be regarded as a sign of failed diplomacy, since if France can trust neither of his neighbours in 1901, he is surely doomed. Moreover, it doesn't even offer complete protection, as an Italian opening to Piedmont would expose Marseilles; as an offensive, it may be applauded for making such a distinct commitment against England (a power that many Diplomacy players regard as France's greatest threat in the early years, and which needs to be eliminated early if it's to be eliminated at all). It is based on the theory that France can afford to ignore Iberia in 1901, though a stand-off is usually achieved to keep a unit next to Spain. Extremely pro-Italy. Less severe is the "Belgian Gambit", which uses F(Bre)-MAO instead. Contrasts markedly with the Maginot Opening. See French Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for any Russian opening using the move F(StPsc)H. See Russian Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: F(Bre)-ENG, A(Par)-Pic and A(Mar)H. A(Mar)-Bur, the Northern Dash, is the more common move. See French Openings (KW).
See Illyrian Opening and Italian Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: F(Lon)-NTH and F(Edi)-NWG. There are four named variations: the Cly variant, the Edi variant, the Wal variant and the Yor variant. See English Openings (KW).
A(War)-Gal, F(Sev)-Rum, A(Mos)-Stp is the most pro-Turkey of all the Stp Gambit openings. Following Richard Sharp's rationalization of Russian openings in the 1980's, properly called the Northern System, Galicia variation; Rumania variation. See Russian Openings (KW).
A(War)-Ukr, F(Sev)-Rum, A(Mos)-Stp. This is about the lowest profile Russia can keep in the South and still send an army there, and may indicate Russia believes that there is triple R-A-T alliance to be had. Following Richard Sharp's rationalization of Russian openings in the 1980's properly called the Northern System, Ukraine variation; Rumania variation. See Russian Opening (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for any Russian opening using the moves F(StP/sc)-Fin/GoB and A(Mos)-StP. There are six named variations: the Galician (A(War)-Gal), F(Sev)-Rum), the Northern Opening (A(War)-Lvn), the Octopus (A(War)-Gal, F(Sev)-BLA), the Silesian (A(War)-Sil), the Squid (A(War)-Ukr, F(Sev)-BLA) and the Ukraine (A(War)-Ukr, F(Sev)-Rum). By inference we can construct the Moscow Variation (A(War)-Mos), the Prussian Variation (A(Mos)-Pru) and the Warsaw Variation (A(War)H). See Northern Opening (Galicia Variation), Northern Opening (Ukraine Variation) and Russian Opening (KW).
Based on an EFG alliance, this has E convoying to Den, with A Mar-Pie and A Mun-Tyo for an immediate southern attack. Subsequently, E builds a minimum of fleets, F builds mostly F Mar. (Richard Hucknall in _FOE_ 57). See English Openigns (KW), French Openings (KW) and German Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for the opening where England orders A(Lpl)-Yor, one fleet to NTH and does something 'silly' with the other fleet. There are two variations: the Clyde and the Thames. See English Openings (KW).
Founded in June 1994 in Oslo by Borger Borgersen and other active Norwegian players at the time. Borger was the editor of Norway's only postal zine "The Backstabber" and ran the yearly Diplomacy tournament during Arcon at Oslo University. It was deemed necessary at the time to organize the hobby in a formal association to successfully win a bid for the European Diplomacy Convention (EDC). The NDA subsequently hosted the 1996 EDC. After Borgersen's retirement from the hobby in 1998, the organization was inactive until revived in 2000 by a new group of players emanating mainly from the PBEM part of the hobby. The "new" NDA quickly picked up the face-to-face traditions and has organized the Norwegian Diplomacy Convention since 2001. The NDA is registered as a non- governmental organization in the Register for Legal Entities under the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and is present on the internet at: http://www.diplomacy.no/ A brief history (in English) of the Diplomacy Hobby in Norway can be found here.
NOVICE (1) [PB:1980]
In player, someone in their first game, someone who has just joined the hobby. A 'novice game' will be one predominantly made up of novices. In editor, someone who edits a zine very soon after entering the hobby (perhaps less than a year--nobody has quantified it).
NOVICE (2) [AW:Mar96]
Novices are players who make stupid stabs. See also Experts and Intermediates.
NOVICE GAME (1) [MB:Jun80]
Some zines (particularly Liasons Dangereuses) have organized games solely for novices, so that they won't feel outclassed. The drawback is that these will be less of a learning experience, as the players will not be exposed to experienced players --- and one of the prime functions of player's first few games is supposed to be learning. Apparently, these games often have intense levels of correspondence, as players are in few games, and seek to make a good start in the Hobby.
See Novice Gamestart Project (2).
A proposal by Cal White and John Gross, never implemented. To have been sponsored by the IDA, games would have opened on a "general basis" and the players notified of their novice GM. The GM would send his adjudications to the Project, which would publish the results in a zine. GMs would be encouraged to take their games with them when they were ready to start their own zine. Orphans could also be fed in. Similar to the NGC gamestarts function.
This was actually called the Novice GAMESMASTERS Project and it DID start. It ran exactly ONE game with James Hymas. I later tried to relaunch the idea in the late 1980s in _Tyromania_.
Larry Peery's 300 page programmed instruction manual for beginners.
An irregularly produced publication or package for the purpose of giving novices an overview of the Hobby. Examples include: Andromeda Chronicle (1972, Burt Labelle), Cephids (1975, Robert Correll), Compendium (Simon Billenness), A Glossary of Terms (1980, Pete Birks), Kaleidoscope (1973, Len Lakofka), Master's of Deceit (Tom Mainardi), Novice Package (Agar), Ponevdra (Walker), Supernova (Linsey), The Tangled Web we Weave (Swanson) and V'La le bon Vent (1978, John Leeder).
NRO [PB:1980]
No Retreat Ordered. If a unit might be forced to retreat (if an ally stabs you, for example), then give it a conditional retreat order (e.g. A(Ser) retreat to Bud/Tri/Rum/Gre/Alb/Bul) so as to avoid it being disbanded and the ignominious NRO being placed beside it. As an aside, if players know that you always order conditional retreats, they may be less inclined to stab you, knowing that you have made preparations for such an eventuality.
NRP! (1) [MN:Jun93]
No Retreat Possible! Death by destruction. Common abbreviation.
A rather tasteless card game with the false and insidious suggestion that nukes aren't all that dangerous - more people are affected by "Propaganda".
NUMBER OF NEW ZINES (1) [JM/MN:1992/Aug94]
A rough approximation to the growth/contraction of the diplomacy hobby. Rather incomplete figures for the North American Hobby:
1963: 3
1964: 5
1965: 10+
1966-1967: 32
1971: 42
1972: 55
1973: 65
1978: 10
1980: 31 (never subsequently exceeded)
See Off-Board Box.
The single most popular Italian Opening, with A(Ven)-Tyr, A(Rom)-Ven, F(Nap)-ION, giving the player the option of attacking Vie, supporting into Tri or going for Munich, in addition to helping Russia take Vie. More widely known as the Tyrolian Attack. See Italian Openings (KW).
These include Brannon's Rule, Gilliland Situation, the Key Rule, Koning's Rule, Miller's Rule, Phillip's Dilemma, Reinsel/Beshera Rule, Shargin Alternative Convoy, the Swanson Rule, Walker Rule, etc. Most of these had to do with either convoys or retreats or support cutting, and were cleared up in the 1971 Rulebook. Apparently Charles Well was the first to start naming these rule disputes.
OCTOPUS (1) [MB/RE/MN:Jun80/89-90/Aug95]
Richard Sharp's name for a Russian opening which combines a strong defence in the south with an uncommonly powerful assault on Scandinavia. The name presumably derives from the way the opening exploits Russia's interests in so many spheres, spreading tentacles into several areas: the moves are A(Mos)-StP, A(War)-Gal, and F(Sev)-BLA. The Russian player who opens with this can expect to upset England, who usually looks to Norway as his only guaranteed build - in a game with an Octopus, only a full blown Northern Opening (F(Lon)-NTH, F(Edi)-NWG, A(Lon)-Yor) from England will do.

Neither Turkey nor Austria should feel seriously threatened, as you have apparently moved on the other as well, and a joint attack on both Austria and Turkey hardly seems likely if you are also moving to StP. Often, at least one of these will be an arranged standoff. The systematic name for this opening is Northern system (Octopus Variation). Variations depend upon the order for F(StPsc):
F(StPsc)-Fin (Octopus, Finnish Variation),
F(StPsc)-GoB (Octopus),
F(StPsc)-H (Octopus, Houseboat Variation),
F(StPsc)-Lvn (Octopus, Livonian Variation).
A favourite of Richard Sharp's. See also RussianOpening (KW) and Squid.

ODD (1) [MB:Jun80]
John McCallum's complex rating system, based on Calhamer Point Count and the handicap system used in Chess. Players can gain additional points by doing better than those with ratings better than their own. (See _DW_ 3). Currently run by Doug Beyerlein. (Was later revised to ODDMOD-- MN, Dec 1992) See Rating Systems (KW).
ODDMOD (1) [MB:Jun80/Mar82]
A relatively complex rating system invented by John Leeder (although it is not based on "win-only"), in which the ODD system has been variously weighted. Standbys are rated. Details in _DW_ Vol 3, 2 and _DW_ 17. Present custodian is Blair Cusack, but no ratings have been published for several years. See Rating Systems (KW).
OD NUMBER (1) [AoS:88]
Proposed alternative to Boardman numbers for classifying Australian games. Aus=Oz, hence Oz Diplomacy number.
OFF-BOARD BOXES (1) [MB/AP/MN:Jun80/1986Mar92]
These originated in Rod Walker's Youngstown II. They are special spaces on the board which exist to link different parts of the board and form additional spaces between those so linked. Regardless of their names and shapes the 'box' rules are basically the same. Any number of units may occupy these boxes at the same time, including A/Fs; No power can attack into or inside, or control them, but it is possible for one unit in a box to support another unit when it is moving out.

Boxes are usually sea provinces, allowing fleets more rapid movement and tending to globalize the board; important if there are more than seven players. Used in many variants. It is also possible to have off-board boxes that armies can move into. This helps eliminate corner positions and encourages more diplomacy. An example is in Mark Nelson's Diadochi VI. See VariantJargon (KW).

These exist in some variants where units start the game not actually on the board, but in special spaces which are assumed to exist beyond the map edge. Often these spaces are unmarked and unnamed and units may only move *from* them into specified spaces on the actual board and they cannot return eg in several Downfall variants Mordor starts with 3 armies off-the-board. These are different from Off-board boxes. See also Variant Jargon (KW).
Novices sometimes overlook the fact that a unit can be retreated off the board, or disbanded, rather than retreated to another space. It can then be built for the following winter, if the SC count permits, possibly placing the unit where it is really needed. This commonly occurs when a country is stabbed and needs a unit to defend home centers, or if a player wants to call off a war by removing the piece from the area. Also known as Quick Retreat.
OFFSET (1) [MB:Jun80]
A high-technology printing technique, in which a page is photographed, a plate is made from this, and printing is done from this plate. Due to the high cost of the plate, this requires relatively large circulations to be reasonable in cost. Usually done with reduction, so that two pages of copy fit on one side. Examples are: Diplomacy Digest, DW, Dragon and the Lamb, Flying Dutchman, Kassia, Megalomania, Le Front de Liberation du Diplomacy, Saint George and the Dragon and Vortigen. [Note: _zine_ not used here]
OGRE (1) [TN/MN:87/Jan94]
Orphan Games Rehouser. A man who can help to get your game going again if its zine folds.

Custodian   Tenure
John Marsden  end of the 1970's.
Nick Kinzett  ??? to July 1989
Peter Sullivan July 1989 to 31st December 1992
John Marsden  31st December 1992 to present.
OGRE (2) [PB:1980]
The best known microgame from Metagaming Concepts. [Note: Has been sold by Steve Jackson Games for years now--HR]
OLD HARD-CORE, The (1) [MN:Dec92]
OMBUDSMAN (1) [MB/TNP:Jun80/1987]
A third party who will settle GM-player disputes if consulted by both parties. May also settle intra-organization problems. Traditionally under the sponsorship of an organization, such as CDO or IDA, and is usually elected. Not used in the UK. See JudCom.
A zine devoted to a single, complete game. The first was _The Grand Fenwick Gazette_ (1965, North Carolina). Rod Walker has produced several on variant games, and some dippy clubs have reprinted FTF games.
A fixed fee which also covers getting the zine for the life of the game. Little used (one is _Graustark_). Opposite is free plus sub.
The Official Diplomacy Rulebook
The Diplomatic Pouch: The first place to go to get information on Diplomacy.
European Diplomacy Association: Its massive face-to-face tournament record.
Diplomacy World: One of the premier Diplomacy zines.

More needed! Please let me know!

A listing of all the internet games that require replacement positions and basic details on the positions (regular or variant, flag settings, judge, state of power) can be obtained by sending the cmd "Opening request" in the SUBJECT line to starkey@netcom.com. The opening list file is regularly updated by a program written by Sean Starkey; it went on-line in October 1993.
A system designed to find the best FTF diplomacy player in Sweden based on performance in Swedish diplomay tournaments in 1991. Results from five conventions were included and the top 7 players in each convention scored 10, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. The person with the most points was the winner.
   1st     2nd  3rd
1991 Ulf Jireton Roland Isksson Per Norman

The system was designed and run by Per Westling. The 1992 Championship was called The Swedish Diplomacy Rally. See also Rating Systems (KW).

OPSIMATH (1) [MB:Jun80]
A player who pursues a foolish course of action (e.g. grudge war, or ignoring a leader) for a long period of time, and then changes his course only late in the game.
ORCHIVES (1) [MB/PG:Jun80/Nov93]
Scott Marley's California based Archives, based largely on Beyerlein and San Diego Archives material, and post May 1978 DW trades. When Scott left the hobby he presented these to Larry Peery, making Peery's collection the second largest in the hobby, after Walt Buchanan's Hoosier Archives.
ORIGINS (1) [MB/PG:Jun80/Mar82/Nov93]
A wargaming convention, founded by Avalon Hill which usually features a big dippy tournament. Origins I was in Baltimore (1975), II in Baltimore (1976), III on Staten Island, IV in Michigan, Origins V (Chester, PA), Origins VI (Detroit), Origins VII (San Francisco), Origins VIII (Baltimore), Origins IX (Detroit) and Origins X (Dallas). Origins II and V-X hosted DipCons.
ORPHAN [PB/MB/MN:1980/Jun80+Mar82/Sep94]
A game which no longer has a GM, usually because its zine has folded. If a zine folds 'tidily', then the game will be neatly transferred, credit and all, to another zine, but if the editor just leaves the world to pick up the pieces, a long pause will occur while everyone wonders whether the zine will fold or not and eventually a third party, usually a service project such as the OGRE (in the UK), arranges for the game to go elsewhere. Games are frequently ruined, however, due to (unsurprising) fall-off of interest among the players.

The first orphaned game was 1964B, transferred from Dave McDaniel to John Boardman in 1965. The most games orphaned from one zine was 23 by Roger Oliver when _The Diplomatic Journal_ folded. The first zine to fold messily was Bernie Kling's Lusitania in 1966. The first person to run act as an orphan placement service was Conrad von Metzke. Sometimes called an Orphaned Game.

A clearing house for orphans and GMs who would like to rehouse them. Players were expected to contact the OGP director with the game info. Mark Berch states that the service was set up by Rod Walker, although see Orphan entry. Ran by Conrad von Metzke (6th November 1972 to 30th June 1973), and run for many years by Greg Warden, it is presently in the hands of Ray Heuer, and is dormant. Conrad called it the Orphan Games Resuscitation Project and his first job was to deal with the infamous Walker burnout (19 games)... (Later merged into the US Orphans Service --- PG Nov/93).
See Orphan Games Project.
See Orphan.
A zine devoted to playing just orphan games, either on a temporary basis until they can be rehoused (Fagin) or until completion (Black Sheep, EFGIART, Moby Grape, The Orphan, The Ultimate Chaotic Act (the last of which orphaned its own orphans). EFGIART was the first zine devoted to picking up and running orphaned games. [Note: _zine_ not used here]
OTB (1) [MN:Jun93]
Units that are dislodged may retreat Off-the-board, back into the counter mix.
OTM (1) [MN:Feb93]
Abbreviation sometimes seen in North American zines for Ordered To Move. The adjudication A(Par) SGA(Bur)H (nso, otm) means that the support for A(Bur) is illegal because A(Bur) is 'on the move'.
OUNCE (1) [MN:Jan93]
Game GMed by Ken Lowe using the Judge program. Italy and Russia wanted to declare a 2-way draw. Ken Lowe wrote: "I don't believe in draws that are not stalemates. Game Ounce is not a stalemate; I will not declare it a draw. I will, however, declare it a Russian win! Russia can take and hold Munich, Smyrna and Trieste uncontested. Congratulations Russia. I hope Italy thinks twice before handing you the win at the expense of the other players next time." This caused some controversy and was the subject of much debate, over DIPL-L and in private. Details in Chapter Two 294-295 (September 1992). In the Hall of Fame it *is* recorded as a Russian win.
OVAL (1) [MB:Jun80]
Peter Birks' Press Byline in _Greatest Hits_.

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

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