Diplomacy A-Z, Version 6.0

Q & R Entries

Q RATING (1) [MN:Jun95]
An attempt to find the zine which has run the 'best games'. Can also be used to compare the 'quality' of games played over different mediums.


Concept introduced by Mark Nelson in _Everything_ 90 (October 1994). See also Dropout Number, Length Number and Win Number.

Q RATING (2) [MN:Jun95]
Some statistics!

         GAME             Q RATING
NAPG Non-orphaned games*    3.79
NAPG Orphaned games*        2.58
COMPU Non-orphaned games*   4.59

COMPU = Games played over Compuserve network.
NAPG = North American Postal Games
* Data from Everything 85 (May 1992) through Everything 1991 (March 1995).

"The principle of give and take is the principle of diplomacy-- give one and take ten." - Mark Twain

"The sign of a good negotiation is when both sides walk away aggravated." - Kevin Gershan

"If you had had the decency to lie to me, we could have worked together". Steve Hutton, as Turkey, to Robert Lowes, as Austria, during the finalists' tourny at Can-Con 1988. (From Passchendaele 70, October 1988.)

"Any time two allies stab a third, at least one of those allies is making a mistake." (Michael Sany, RGD post 2nd March 1996.)

QUICK RETREAT (1) [RE:89-90]
Also known as a "Rapid Retreat", this is a Diplomacy tactic for responding to an unexpected invasion of a player's home centres, or perhaps a realignment of his alliances and/or strategy. A unit not occupying a supply centre, and too far from a home centre to reach it speedily, is dislodged, usually by an ally, in an autumn season, and the player disbands it rather than order a retreat. He is then entitled to build a replacement in a home centre, thus effectively swapping a distant unit for one at home, and perhaps an army for a fleet (or vice versa). See also Off-the-board retreat.
An alliance structure in which both parties agree not to attack each other, but also agree that the first to reach 18 centres, wins. Thus, competition is not so much military as diplomatic, as each tries to manipulate the board's alliance structures so that the other fellow faces the most determined opposition.
RAIDER (1) [MB:Jun80]
A unit behind the enemy lines. Tactically, this can be extremely valuable, because to snuff it out generally takes three to five enemy units. They are sometimes generated when a dislodged unit can be retreated forward, or when a country picks up a new puppet, or when a unit just slips through. _DW_ demo game 1976BG had an Italian fleet raider.
An 'educational' game marketed by Welsh school teacher David Watts in the 1970's which quickly attracted a following in postal circles and eventually was published commercially by several different firms (in the UK USA by Games Workshop). By the late 1980's it has become almost accepted Hobby practice for every new zine to run a game, and the game has even attracted a cult following in the USA, where it had been popularized by Conrad von Metzke, with several Railway Rivals only zines.

Railway Rivals is a game of two parts. In the first half players build track across a map (there are over 100 different maps, covering many parts of the world) and the second stage they conduct races between the different towns. The game mechanics are *very* simple and can be learned in 5 minutes. FTF it is a very easy-going and sociable game which can be finished in a few hours (2-3 typically). Postally there are only 12 turns so a game can be finished in about a year at typical zine speeds.

A game which every gamer should own. Marvellous game to get your children into games playing, except that they will probably beat you. Most UK dipcons feature a RR tournament. Common abbreviation is RR.

See Quick Retreat.
RATINGS (1) [MB/TNP:Jun80/1987]
A system of ranking of players' postal performance. Principal problems are how to rank outcomes other than victory, whether to include standbys, how far back in the records to go, and finding the time to do the work. Diplomacy rating systems have ranged from Jon Palfrey's sophisticated STAR system to much simpler methods. See also Rating Systems and Rating Systems for Standby Players (KW).
The person who inputs the data, decides which games are rateable, does the calculations, arranges for publication and if necessary defends the results. See Rating Systems (KW).
There are many problems in producing rating systems for Standby players. How much credit should a standby gain for taking over a 17th center position? Is it fair that a player who takes over a "no-hope" position should suffer a loss in their rating? For some answers see Burgess Rating System, Marrotta Rating System, Norman Rating System, Rating Systems (KW) and Rehbold Rating System.
There are many different rating systems for Diplomacy. Rating systems exist for FTF games, postal games, tournament games and variant games. For more information see: All-wine-and-no-vinegar, Alternative HoF Ranking System, ArGir, ArGir II, Berch Tournament Rating System, Beyerlein Player Poll, Big Brother's Rating List, British Diplomacy Ratings, Brobdingnag Rating System, BRUX Tournament Rating System, Burgess DipCon Rating System, Burgess Rating System, Calhamer Point Count, Calhamer Tournament Scoring System, Delemos Rating System, Derrick Rating System, Diplomacy Skill Index, Dolchstoss Rating System, Dragonsteeth Rating System, Hall of Fame (Email), Harris Rating System, Hurst Tournament Scoring System, International Diplomacy Tournament Ratings, Kinzett Rating System, Kinzett Rating System (ManorCon 1986), Lafosse Tournament Scoring System, Lindeberg-Selhammar Rating System, Marrotta Rating System, Master Points System, NGC Rating System, Nickie-Carlotta Rating System, Norman Rating System, Odd, Oddmod, Open Swedish Championship, The patent olloy-o-matic rating system, Percentage Ranking, Ratings, Ratingsmaster, Rating Systems for Standby Players, Rehbold Rating System, Rocamora-Birsan System, Rogue's Gallery, Samuel Rating System, Simple Tournament Scoring System, Stab Ratings, Star Rating System, Stars and Bars, Super Tournament Rating System, Swedish Diplomacy Rally, Swiss System, Team Tournament, Thomas Rating System, Varioddmod, Vega, Walker Tournament Scoring System, Williams Rating System, Wilman Rating System, YARS, Yerkey Rating System and Zero Sum Rating System.
See also the collection of DipCon Rating Systems in Appendix 1.
A style of GMing that tends to be rigid, limiting a player's ability to innovate and avoid the consequences of errors. Typically such HRs would bar codewords, joint orders, limit conditional orders, narrowly interprets the "badly written order rule" and impose strict deadlines.
If the GM makes a cock-up (which he occasionally will, although less often if all the players got their units right and wrote them down neatly and clearly in an easily-counted column), then he may send out a between-issue 'readjudication'. He may, on the other hand, wait until the next issue of the zine, and 'readjudicate' there, holding the game over until the following issue.
REAL ALE [PB:1980]
Like SF, something which seems to go hand in hand with games players. Many noted breweries, but watch out for mentions of Young's (not Younger's), Fuller's, Boddington's, Lion Ales, and various others I don't know (never touch the stuff myself).
A central dilemma in creating variants based on historical conflicts. Unless the battle really was a draw, slavishly following the dictates of realism means that one side should have little chance of winning, providing for an unbalanced game that will be unlikely to be replayed. But evening things up destroys the historical accuracy of the variant.

The main problem with realism is not that it dictates one side must always win, but rather that greater realism usually requires greater complexity. Greater complexity means less playability at some point. See Variant Jargon (KW).

Or "RSN". SFism meaning "at some point in a logically possible future".
Usenet discussion group founded by Nick Fitzpatrick which brought the existence of e-mail Diplomacy to the attention of many who were unaware of it. The resulting explosion of new e-mail players was partly responsible for the sudden surge in registrations at the Washington Judge which lead to the moratorium on game starts there and to the formation of the EFF JUDGE. There is a rec.games.diplomacy.faq file. The vote to form this group was held in October 1992 and sites started carrying the group around November 9th 1992.
Currently maintained by Sean Starkey, this file answers basic questions about the internet Diplomacy community. It is posted biweekly to the newsgroup itself, and is available by anonymous ftp from the 'usual places'. It was based upon, and replaced, Nick Fitzpatrick's The Internet Guide To Diplomacy file.

In addition it can be retrieved by:
1) Email: by sending a message to starkey@rmii.com with "FAQ request" in the SUBJECT.
2) FTP: at rmii.com in pub2/starkey/rec.games.diplomacy.FAQ.*
3) WWW: at ftp://rmii.com/pub2/starkey/rec.games.diplomacy.FAQ.html
See Zine Names (KW).

REFUSALS (1) [MB:Jun80]
A few GMs will allow a player to refuse an unwanted convoy route (which they suspect will be disrupted), either explicitly or implicitly by permitting "via" language -- all this despite the Rulebook which does not permit refusals. Refusals of support are uniformly not permitted.
REGULAR (1) [MB:Jun80]
(1) Not a variant, a standard game; (2) A properly run game, not irregular; (3) An ordinary game, not a restricted entry game.
A method for rating standby players devised by Robert Rehbold and posted on DIPL-L on 12th January 1993. The basic idea is to distribute points to players depending on how long they played the nation (e.g. game ends in 1912, then a player who played 6 years would get 1/2 the rating points, another who played 2 years would get 1/6 etc.).

Rehbolds's idea is to enhance this by weighting the last player(s) more than the first ones; players would have to have played for more than a whole year to receive any credit.
(n = number of players for the nation that played at least one year,
y[i]= number of years player i played the nation (y[i])= 1; i ranging from 0 to n-1), y = sum over y[i]):

points-for-player-i := (y[i]- 1 + 2*i)/(y - 2*n + n~2) * points-for-nation.

This reduces to points-for-nation if n=1, i.e. one player only. For a game that ended winter 1912 where nation X was played by two players, one until summer 1906, the other for the rest, this would give (5.5 - 1 + 0)/(12 - 2*2 + 2~2) = 4.5/12 = 3/8 for the first player and (6.5 - 1 + 2)/12 = 7.5/12 = 5/8 for the second player.
See Rating Systems (KW).

A method of foiling the self-standoff by supporting one of the enemy's moves. It is a true gambit, as one is giving up a shot at the center. Can of course be foiled by attacking the would-be supporter. Also known as Unwanted Support.
REINSEL, CHARLES ROBERT (1) By Hal Naus, from _ADAG_ # 108 (27-3-76)
Editor and Publisher of Big Brother. A much maligned personality in the World of Postal Diplomacy, Charlie as I call him (he would prefer people to call him Norb) and I have been on somewhat friendly terms since I started playing and publishing way back in 1966. My first win was in Charlie's magazine. Charlie's rules at times are somewhat strange, but I have always maintained that a Publisher has a right to do what ever he wants with his magazine.

_Big Brother_ #1 was first published on 22 February 1966. The first Diplomacy Rating system was invented in 1964 by Mr. Reinsel. _Big Brother_ has run 39 Postal Diplomacy games to date. Some of the biggest names in Postal Diplomacy have played in _Big Brother_, and as Charlie states "Big Brother: has the distinction of never defaulting on a game nor of ever missing an issue. It is the best gamesmastered zine in the hobby." When he is not residing in Florida to escape the cold, and traveling around the country visiting people, he is usually found in Leeper Pa. Charlie is a retired school teacher, who once ran for the state assembly in Penna. Every once in a while Charlie gets the urge and comes out to Calif; to visit and stay with me, we usually drag out new variant games and test them until they are perfect. And so _ADAG_ in its first of a series of its players and Traders tips its hat to Charles Norbert Reinsel the *ombudsman* of Postal Diplomacy.

((An example of one of Reinsel's strange rules: "If all the moves come in ahead of the deadline, they will be typed up ahead of the deadline and no further changes will be allowed", this was in 1968 when Reinsel was running postal games to 13-day deadlines... MN:Jun92)) See Personalities (KW).

Was a math teacher in Clarion High School, Clarion PA. His zine Big Brother was also known for having the toughest NMR (no moves received) policy which allowed for NO replacement players after a player missed 3 moves of any kind. There was one game in the zine that was down to One player as the others had been put in Civil Disorder. Charlie insisted that the player play the game out with everyone in CD.
RELIABLE (1) [AoS:88]
Player with a lower than average record for NMRs --no more than 10% (i.e. one every five game years at most). Some Reliables have never NMRed. Some Waiting Lists are open exclusively to Reliables.
Passing a letter along to another party is a fairly common practice, and on some occasions you'll even get your own mail back. There is much, obviously, to be gained, but there are some risks. Some players believe it unethical. And even if the recipient appreciates the letter, he must surely wonder whether it's worth the risk for him to write *you*. A careful letter writer will write his most sensitive letters in such a way as to reduce the chances of their being remailed.
Publisher of The Bluesmobile, an excellent e-mail zine from 1997 (?) to December 1999. Vanished from the face of the earth (or at least the Hobby) in 2000, ostensibly due to Y2K problems with his computer.
RENKEN, BERRY (2) [JB:Mar07]
For a while there he was the heart of the hobby for postal types who were popping into the Internet. Berry has apologized to me personally for disappearing. He left the Internet entirely for awhile. He's probably back in now, but I think I only have his phone and postal address; he lives in Seattle. It seems Buz Eddy mentioned that Berry showed up at Dragonflight there one year, I forget which one.
The positive step of removing oneself from a game. Most GMs require a final set of moves (if the season calls for it), otherwise it may be treated as an NMR. This is as opposed to chess, where resignation implies concession to a particular player, an indication that the game is considered over.
Any game where significant limitations are placed on who may enter. The most common are demo games and local games, others have included novice games, all-GM games, all-lawyers games, press games, Amazon games and International Games.
RETREAT (1) [TNP:87]
What a dislodged unit must do. Forgetting to order retreats is a common and often costly mistake.
McCallum's rule that a dislodged unit without retreat orders retreats, if possible, to the province it was in before its present space. So named after Napoleon's Moscow army retreated via the road back to Smolensk despite the fact that they had pillaged that area coming in. The theory is that (1) A retreating army without orders will always just want to go home and (2) It will choose the most familiar route, the one which may have supplies stashed along it. The rule breaks down if it arrived by convoy, if it was built there, etc.
Diplomacy's most obscure maneuver. [HR:Oct02] (Portugal has only one land neighbour...) See Humour.
These include Just's Right Hand Rule, also in Wells' version, Just's Fleeing-the-enemy, Retreat From Moscow and others. These were once extensively discussed and zines varied widely in their practices. Important in some variants (e.g. Disorganization).
In Lakofka's unusual Austro-Turkey alliance, F01 sees A(Bul)-Gre, F(Con)-Bul/ec, A(Arm)-Sev (or defend Ank). Austria contests Rum with Ser (+A(Gal) if it exists) and orders F(Alb)-ION. Then in S02, F(ION) CTA(Gre)-Apu. See Austrian Openings (KW) and Turkish Openings (KW).
REYNOLDS, HAROLD (1) [HR:Aug93/Aug02]
His contributions to the Hobby (so far) consist of proof-reading the AZ document (Versions 2.0-4.0), converting Version 5.0 to HTML, four collections of bad jokes, a couple of limericks and a collection of strange Diplomacy-related quotations, the latter which were generated in fits of frustration while he was playing a beleaguered France. Has also created a map for the Colonia VII-B variant.

Spends most of what little free time he has collecting and/or creating even more bad jokes, maintaining his Bad Pets lists and general humour website, child-wrangling, and wondering how he keeps getting sucked into the Hobby world periodically [or editing the AZ!]. Mark Nelson (in 1982/83), Jim Burgess (2002) and Edi Bursan (2005) are usually blamed. A certifiable (but mostly harmless) nutcase.

RGD (1) [MN:Feb95]
Abbreviation for rec.games.diplomacy.
RHU [PB:1980]
Often a misspelling of Ruhr. Correctly, a small town in Scotland (just north of Helensburgh) at which seven ScotDipcons were held, from the small gathering of the first to the fifty strong of the last one in (I think) 1978. Ably run by Wink Thompson with first his wife Ruth and then his wife Linda (see Divorces).
See Just's right hand rule.
RISK [PB:1980]
The game. Before the days of the discovery of Diplomacy, I think we all played this. Has many more aficionados than Diplomacy among the 'non-hobby' (probably because of Waddington's superior marketing). Also has several sets of rules, the earlier ones being better, the later being designed for the morons who normally buy Waddington Games.
ROADHOG (1) [MN:May93]
An alternative name for Houseboat opening. See Austrian Openings (KW).
A tournament scoring system giving one point per center, and one point for everyone playing your country that round whom you outperformed. SCs thus are the sole measure of performance; wins and draws do not exist. No reduced victory criterion is employed. Has been used in several major tournaments. See Rating Systems (KW).
See Hobby Awards (KW) and Walker Award, The.
Len Lakofka's Rating system, giving 5 points/center plus 170 points to the winner, or divided among the drawers. Penalties assessed for elimination. It is very similar to Dragon's Teeth, except that RG does not factor in standbys.
ROHAN (1) [MB:Jun80]
A notational system in which CAPITALS are used to denote where the unit is, lower case for where it was, $/((these symbols should be stacked together-MN)) for cut supports. Presently used in _St George and the Dragon_.
A same board variant by Edi Birsan. Players issue their orders first and may not change it, then they negotiate. Sometimes can be mixed in a regular game to even up the skill difference between new and experienced players so that some countries have to issue orders without talking first and then can only talk afterwards. See Variant.
F(Nap)-ION, A(Ven)-Apu, A(Rom)-Ven (See Lepanto). When done in conjunction with F(Tri)-Ven it leaves Ven open, presumably making Austria feel more secure for F01. *Very* obscure, but recently seen in 1979GZ. Also known as Anti-Hedgehog Lepanto. See Italian Openings (KW).
RR (1) [MN:Apr92]
See Railway Rivals.
RSN (1) [MN:Jan94]
This entry will be written RSN! (Real Soon Now...)
RULEBOOK (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Nov92+Sep94]
Diplomacy was first distributed in a limited edition of 500 sets by Allan Calhamer in 1958, and this 1958 version of Diplomacy is the earliest one for which we have the rules. It has been reprinted several times in zines and run by post. You can get a copy of these rules from most variant banks. See 1958 Diplomacy for more details.

A significant revision was released in 1959 and it is these rules which are the basis for the game played today. These rules were revised in 1966 and 1971.

Prior to the 1971 revision the Rulebook had many areas that required interpretation, which was left to the individual gamesmaster/publisher to handle. The 1971 rulebook made rulings such as the Brannon Rule, the Chalker Rule, the Koning Rule, the von Metzke rule, Miller Rule and others obsolete; these were fixes to the old rules devised by prominant postal players and publishers of the day. As an example of a rule which was cleared up consider the following: FA(Bur) SA(Ruh)-Mun, GA(Mun)-Bur/Ruhr. This situation was not covered and some players (including Richard Sharp) assumed that if you guessed right you could cut the support against you. The old rulebook also allowed deliberate disbandment and decline of builds.

The victory criterion was changed from a majority of units on the board to holding 18 centres as there had been cases of powers gaining 18 or more centres but *not* winning the game (See Majority of Units on the Board).

The 1971 rulebook was rewriten over the period 1970-71 by an ad hoc committee of well known postal players, such as Rod Walker, in conjunction with Games Research Inc (GRI) and was reprinted without changes in 1976.

There were two significant changes between the 1976 rulebook and the 1983 rulebook, these changes have not been included in rule books produced in other countries except for in Canada since 1991.

The first change is in Rule XII(4), where the rewritten form allows ambiguous convoys to succeed unless all fleets are dislodged. Therefore "F(ENC) F(NTH) CA(Lon)-Bel" succeeds unless both fleets are sunk. This almost never arises.

The second change is similar: a new rule Rule XII(6) resolves the unwanted convoy dilemma, but does so in the opposite way to that followed by most UK GMs, saying that "one route must be considered and the other disregarded depending upon... intent..."

There are no significant changes between the 1993 Avalon Hill rulebook and the 1983 rules, except for a footling change in the numbering of rules.

RULEBOOK (2) [EB:Aug07]
The 1999 Hasbro Rulebook made written with the Assistance of Allan Calhamer and Edi Birsan, made a significant change in killing the Unwanted Convoy situations. Thus a unit moving from one coastal province to an adjacent province will always go by the land route unless one of its own fleets has written a convoy in which case it will only go by the sea route.  The Rulebook also reconfirmed Calhamer's support for the flexible alternate convoy where a unit can be ordered to a non adjacent coastal province by multiple routes and that as long as one of the routes remains with out a dislodged fleet the convoy goes through.
A Player who delights in spotting loopholes in the rules and uses them at every opportunity, even when it doesn't benefit him.
See Rulebook.
A series of Austrian openings named by Richard Sharp involving the moves F(Tri)-Alb and A(Bud)-Rum. There are three named variations: The Balkan Roadhog (A(Vie)-Gal), McGivern's Gambit (A(Vie)-Bud) and the Tyroleses Variation (A(Vie)-Tyr). See Austrian Openings (KW).
Fourth most common Russian opening, A(Mos)-Sev, F(BLA)-Rum, A(War)-Ukr. Although apparently peaceful and concerned only with Rum, this provided considerable scope for anti-Turkey action in the fall, provided that neither Austria nor Turkey moved against you in S01. Russia can move F(Rum)-BLA, or A(Sev)-Arm, or, especially if Austria is very friendly, *both*. Note that either can provide that Sev will be open for a build. There are variations depending upon the order of F(Stpsc): F(Stpsc)-Fin (Rumanian Opening, Finnish Variation), F(StPsc)-GoB (Rumanian Opening), F(StPsc)H (Rumanian Opening, Houseboat Variation), F(StPsc)-Lvn (Rumanian Opening, Livonian Variation). See Russian Openings (KW).
RUMPLE'S DOT (1) [AoS:88]
Theory that in order to win, players must concentrate on reaching their 18th supply centre (Rumple's Dot) from the beginning of the game and before they consider how to reach their 17th, 16th, and so on. E.g. instead of making a profitable stab on France, Germany aims to squeeze a unit through to Venice first. See "Stiltskin's Dot".
American equivalent of the UK's Zine Poll in which American Hobby members vote on their favourite zine of the last year. There are also separate Polls for best subzine and Best GM. Started by Canadian John Leeder and ran in his dipzine _Runestone_, hence the name. Like the British version often the reason for heated discussion on topics such as eligibility criteria for zines and voters and what the Pollster should do about attempts to fix the Poll. Voters are asked to give a mark between 0 (low) and 10 (high). The final score is a combination of a modified average score and a preference matrix score. The best way to calculate an average score and determining what ratio of average score and preference score are used in calculating the final score are also popular areas for discussion. There are separate Polls for best GM and best subzine. A list of winners is...


  Date  Voters Winner      Runner-Up     Third
 1. 1977   19  Runestone    Brouhaha      Diman
 2. 1978   56  Brutus Bulletin Lies, Deceit, etc Diplomacy Digest
 3. 1979   72  Graustark    The Dragon & The Lamb  Why Me?
 4. 1980   93  Fol Si Fie    Volkerwanderung  The National
 5. 1981  126  Black Frog    Dot Happy     Brutus Bulletin
 6. 1982   99  Europa Express  Paranoiacs Monthly Just Among Friends
 7. 1983   76  Europa Express  Diplomacy By Moonlight  Snafu!
 8. 1984  119  Europa Express  Envoy       Politesse
 9. 1985  265  Voice of Doom  No Fixed Address  Europa Express
10. 1986  211  Costaguana    Europa Express   It's A Trap
11. 1987  441  Costaguana    Blunt Instruments Praxis
12. 1988  508  Praxis      Zine Register   Penguin Dip
13. 1989  174  Fiat Bellum   Perelandra     Carolina Cmd & Comm
14. 1990  233  Northern Flame  Upstart      Zine Register
15. 1991  185  Northern Flame  Perelandra     Fast Trax
16. 1992  139  Perelandra    Maniac's Paradise Northern Flame
17. 1993      Perelandra    Maniac's Paradise Boris the spider


 1. 1978      Steve McLendon
 2. 1979      John Michalski
 3. 1980      Don Ditter/Eric Verheiden (tie)
 4. 1981      John Daly
 5. 1982      Doug Beyerlein
 6. 1983      Doug Beyerlein
 7. 1984      John Daly
 8. 1985      Mark Larzelere
 9. 1986      Gary Coughlan
10. 1987      Andy Lischett
11. 1988      Andy Lischett
12. 1989      Russ Rusnak
13. 1990      Russ Blau
14. 1991      Eric Brosius
15. 1992      Bruce Linsey


 1. 1982      Diplomatic Immunity
 2. 1983      Mos Eisely Spaceport
 3. 1984      Sex Apeel
 4. 1985      MeANNderings
 5. 1986      D-Day!
 6. 1987      High Inertia
 7. 1988      Shadowplay
 8. 1989      High Inertia
 9. 1990      High Inertia
10. 1991      DIDOES
11. 1992      The Hounds of Hell
See Hobby Awards (KW).
The two main Turkish openings. Both involve F(Ank)-BLA and A(Con)-Bul, widely regarded as the only sensible options for these units in Spring 1901 - with the possible exception of the Western Opening F(Ank)-Con which invariably prompts cries of "Juggernaut". The signature of the "Attack" is A(Smy)-Arm, which obliges Russia to give serious thought to protecting Sevastopol in the Autumn. He may opt to use F(Sev), assuming a stand-off in BLA in the Spring, but this means surrendering the Black Sea to Turkey; alternatively he can order F(Sev)-BLA again, and hope for a second stand-off with F(Ank)-BLA, but this is a gamble. One of the main benefits of the Russian Attack is that it keeps Con free in Autumn for a powerful F(Con) build. By contrast, the "Defence" often involves an arranged stand-off in BLA, and uses the move A(Smy)-Con, perhaps with a view to following through with A(Bul)-Gre and A(Con)-Bul for two builds.

The big change in British postal play has been the switch from Smy-Arm to Smy-Con. In the mid 1970s both openings were equally popular; between 1972 and 1977 the Russian Attack was more popular in two years (1973 and 1975), the Russian Defence was more popular in two years (1972 and 1976) and there were two years when the openings. From 1978 to 1992 the Russian Defence was the most popular every year. From 1978 the Russian Attack and Russian Defence has accounted for at least 65% of Turkish openings played each year. The Russian Attack was named, by Mark Berch, the Crimean Crusher. See also Russian Defence, Turkish Openings (KW) and Winning With Turkey.

The opening to BLA, Con and Bul, a very flexible Turkish opening. If Turkey enters the BLA, A(Bul) has a choice of three neighboring neutrals, with F(BLA) SA(Con)-Bul as a backup. Other options are supported attack on Rum, or a sneak convoy to Sev. If a standoff is arranged, Turkey may be buying time, while not risking the Black Sea.

There is also the Ankara Variation of the Russian Defence with A(Smy)-Ank. This is probable misnamed since Turkey would only use this opening with the expectation of gaining BLA (?). See also Russian Attack, Turkish Openings (KW).

Allen Wells' name for the AT opening based on A Vie-Gal, A Bud-Rum, A Con H, A Smy-Arm, F Ank-Bla. The key here is A Con H which, by eliminating Turkey's 1901 risk to Serbia, permits Austria to move safely to Rum. Details in DW 29. See Austrian Openings (KW) and Turkish Openings (KW).
There are more known openings for Russia than for any other power: Austrian Attack, Bulgarian Gambit, German Attack, Hop Step and Jump Opening, Inertia System, Juggernaut, Kronstadt Opening, Lapland Lurch, Livonian Lunacy, Livonian System, Northern Houseboat Opening, Northern Opening (Galicia Variation), Northern Opening (Ukraine Variation), Northern System, Octopus, Rumanian Opening, Russian Opening Names, Southern Defence, Southern System, Squid, StP Gambit, Turkish Attack, Ukraine System and Warsaw System.
Russia has more possible opening moves that any other power. In order to produce a rationalised system for naming Russian Openings Richard Sharp introduced the following plan (expanded by MN to include 6 and 7):

(1) F(StPsc)-Fin is considered to be a move to GoB.
(2) F(StPsc) H openings are known as the Northern Houseboat Opening.
(3) F(StPsc)-Lvn is known as the Kronstadt Opening.
(4) Misordered units are considered to have been ordered to hold.
(5) Openings are named after the order of A(Mos). There are six systems: The Inertia System, the Livonian System, the Northern System, Southern System, the Ukraine System, and the Warsaw System.
(6) Where the alternatives F(Sev)-BLA/Rum/Arm/H are possible these are known as the BLA/Rum/Noah's Ark/Southern Houseboat variation.
(7) The combination of orders A(War)-Ukr and F(Sev)-BLA is known as the Turkish Attack Variation rather than the Ukraine and Black Sea Variation.
See Russian Openings (KW).

RUSTY BOLTS (1) [MN:Apr93]
An exercise in irony on the hobby and its members. They were first ran, originally intended as a one-off, by Ken Bain in _NMR_! from 1982-1985. In 1986 Nick Kinzett took them over. Each year there were ten different categories, although the categories changed from year to year.

Example categories: The Chris Tringham Nearly Famous Award for Upstart of the Year, The MidCon Tony Wheatley Award for Being Who They Are, The Forden's Epitaph Award for the Least Regretted Fold or for the Most Eagerly Awaited Fold, R.J. Walkerdine Award for the Most Boring Topic of Correspondence, The Gary Piper Award for Tact and Diplomacy, Fairy Sopwith Award for the most absurd game of 1985, The Andy Blakeman "Protest in Earnest" Award for Redundant Prose, Wright-Donley Award for the Most Spectacular Con Attendee, The Mike Benyon Brass Award for Delay or the Least Plausible Reasons for it and The Nick Kinzett award for Anything Not Yet Mentioned.

In 1988 and 1989 the winners received real Rusty Bolts! [Mark Nelson, your humble AZ creator, has won a couple of them.] See Hobby Awards (KW) and Humour.

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

This page last updated .