Diplomacy A-Z, Version 6.0

S Entries

SAGACON (1) [AoS:88]
Convention including Diplomacy held in Adelaide in October and organized by the Adelaide University Simulation Gaming Association.
US dipzine ran by Bob Sergeant, one of the best GMs of the late 70s/early 80's. As well as the excellent GMing also noted for coverage of TV/Film SF and occasional play-of-the-game material. Used ROHAN notation. See Zine Names (KW).
SAMPLE COPY (1) [MB:Jun80]
A single copy of a zine sent to a non-subscriber, usually to entice him into subscription. May be free, or require a SASE; occasionally there is a charge.
Kenneth Samuel's rating system posted to rec.games.diplomacy on 3rd February 1993 which can be used to rate Diplomacy and variant games. Points are awarded on the number of opponents you beat and the length of time you played against them.

Suppose you play Italy in a standard (7-player) game and that Germany is eliminated in Fall of 1903. Then after 1903, the game is really just a six-player game. With fewer minds to work against, the complexity of the game has been reduced by one dimension.

Continuing the example, suppose that Russia and France are eliminated in Fall 1906 and Austria in Fall 1912, when the game is called a three-way draw.

The points available are 3/12 for beating Germany (since he was only a factor in 3/12 of the game) PLUS 6/12 (for Russia) PLUS 6/12 (for France) PLUS 12/12 (for Austria). This comes to 27/12 or 2.25 points. This is evenly split among the three winners, giving them .75 points apiece. See Rating Systems (KW).

(1) A group of publishers active in the mid and late 60's, including Robert Cline, Conrad von Metzke (_Costaguana_), Larry Peery (_Xenogogic_), Hal Naus (_A.D.A.G_), Rod Walker (_Erehwon_) and Robert Ward (_Marsovia_). All but Bob Cline published more than one zine, their main zine is listed. All except Bob Cline deserve the accolade 'legend of diplomacy'.
SASE (1) [MB:Jun80]
Self Addressed Stamped Envelope, often included for convenience of reply.
SC (1) [MN:Mar92]
Common abbreviation for Supply Centre, plural form is SC's or just SCs. You need to try to take as many of these as possible!
Den, Swe, Nwy, Fin and StP. In most games, this is the first area of E-W conflict. Unless the east retains at least two fleets in the area, it can be overrun by a healthy west, always.
See Swedish PBM Zine Poll.
SCATTER THEORY (1) [MB/TNP:Jun80/1987]
Nicky Palmer's theory, brilliantly satirized by Richard Sharp in a famous article in Games Puzzles, that one's units should be scattered all over the board, "thus having a finger in every Diplomacy pie!" The hope is that your support will be so desired that no one will want to offend you by attacking your (lightly defended) homeland. In practice, this can be best used in a limited form: e.g. the west has a single unit in the east where it can be used to stabilize things (cause stagnation) while the western power or alliance grows. This is best done by England, France or Turkey, since their empires are less vulnerable to reprisals from the disgruntled party on the other side of the board. Thus, one may see a Turkish fleet wander into the MAO. These extra units may arise when a country switches alliances; e.g. Turkey breaks off attack on Italy, and sends his unneeded forward fleet westward.
A variation of the schizophrenic support done to assure that a province is taken in the proper manner. Thus, suppose your ally is to take Par, but you want to make sure that they do it A(Pic) SA(Bur)-Par, and not vice versa, as you want Bur left open. You order A(Gas)-Par and A(Mar)-Bur. The former means that he must support to enter; the latter that he'll have support only if he attacks from Bur. If there is an enemy unit in Par, A(Gas)-Par may not be needed.
A country attacks a province and also supports an outside party in. This assures that the center is taken in case of NMR or betrayal. It also assures that the centre is taken in the desired manner. Thus, A(Pic)-Bel, A(Bur) SEF (NTH)-Bel, can thwart F(NTH) CA(Yor)-Bel.
Became a term of approbation, the main cause of which was Mike Serrad (of _Our 'Enry_), although Paul Cook/Martin Davis of _Ummagumma_, Andrew Herd Co. with _Hannibal_ must take some of the blame.

Generally applied to childish editor who takes on too many games, is illiterate, inefficient, and liable to go supernova. Needless to say, none of this is necessarily true. Two stolid schoolboy editors were Pete Mearns and Greg Hawes. Failure to carry on usually comes about because of going to University, when girls/drink/work/social life seem more interesting.

Schoolboy editors, even if still at University, have been rare in the UK since the late 1980s; the only obvious candidates are James Nelson and Mark Nelson. Both of these managed to produce a multitude of zines whilst still at School/University without running too many games, running their games efficently and neither went supernova.

A minor format for games, a blend of face to face and telephone modes. The game is run at school (typically, run by a high school games club) with deadlines around 2-3 per week. The moves are sometimes printed (as in _The Exponent_).
These are usually based on a particular book or books, and have never been particularly popular. Books include (Asimov's) "Foundation" and (Blish's) "Cities In Flight". There are many commercially distributed SF games, but these do not resemble Diplomacy in that they are usually just tactical games. See Variant Jargon (KW).
SCISSORS (1) [MB:Jun80]
A tactical procedure for cutting support. A(Ber)-Sil, for example, will not necessarily cut the support of A(Sil), if A(Sil) supports an attack on Ber. But A(Sil) can be cut if two attacks are directed at it; thus the scissors: A(Ber)-Sil, A(Mun)-Sil. This is superior in some ways to A(Ber) SA(Mun)-Sil or vice versa, as it assures that Sil will be cut, and you might expect that both Ber and Mun will be cut from the outside, so the support would be wasted. This won't foil a supported attack *from* Sil, but then A(Ber)-Sil may succeed, threatening War, and allowing A(Mun) to retreat to Ber.
See Rhu.
John Boyer's highly thought of variant depicting the struggle for Ireland in the 11th century. See Variant (KW).
SCUTAGE (1) [MB:Jun80]
A supply centre handed over to one's ally in lieu of military assistance, not provided. E.g. "In return for X and Y, I'll support you into Den next fall, and if I can't support you in, I'll give you Bel instead."
Orders which cannot be changed but are unrevealed. May occur when (1) Game is delayed due to GM illness or need to resolve dispute; (2) Face to Face orders submitted at the end of a given afternoon's play, not revealed to prevent diplomacy from taking place before the reconvening of the game.
See Golden Age.
(1) While you cannot dislodge your own unit directly, you can do it indirectly by cutting the support of a foreign unit which is supporting a unit of yours which needs that support to prevent dislodgement by the enemy (got that?). Doing this accidentally-on-purpose is a very sly maneuver. (2) More directly, the Rulebook does not bar you from convoying an ally's army in an attack on your own unit, though some GMs do not permit this. See Friendly attack.
SELF-STANDOFF (1) [MB:Jun80/MN:Dec92]
A tactical procedure whereby a player orders two units with equal force to the same space, with the intention that neither moves. Commonly at least one of these provinces will be a supply centre which the players wants to build in. Thus in F01, A(Spa)-Mar, A(Bur)-Mar keeps units in Bur and Spa in position, keeps Italian A(Pie) out of Mar, and keeps Mar open for a build. This can be partially foiled by the Reinhardt Gambit. See also the related Scissors and Arranged-Standoff.
SERVICEZINE (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Sep94]
A zine related to a particular Hobby service, e.g. Marsden's _The Orphan Games Rehouser_, ISE's _U.S. Dollars_, the IDA's _Council Currier_. First such zine may have been Rod Walker's _Numenor_ which contained game stats during his period as BNC. See orphanzine and various service projects.
A set of seven games with the same seven players, each getting to play each country once. Has been done in _Neophyte Grand Tournament Gazette_ in 1975, and in _Enigma_ in 1979.
Lew Pulsipher's very complex variant set in mid-18th century Europe. 7 players also must compete for control of 12 minor countries. See Variant (KW).
SF [PB/JM/MN:1980/1992/Aug94]
In the States the bulk of the earlier pioneers of postal Diplomacy were drawn from the science fiction community. Most of the first dozen publishers had come from SF fandom and early players included Jack Chalker, Jerry Pournelle and Monte Zelazny. The biggest contribution of these crossovers was their imaginations used to publish creative material and the framewrok for an organized hobby of zines. Even the concept of the 'fanzine' comes from SF fandom, the first SF zines appearing in the early 1930s.

Otherwise, Dippy might just be duplicated game reports and very boring, too. Much of the cohesion of the *UK* hobby can be put down to the fact that many early Diplomacy players in _Bellicus_, _Ethil the Frog_, _War Bulletin_, and _Grafeti_ (produced by Brian Yare and brought many of the St. Andrew's crowd into the hobby) were either already members of the SF 'hobby' or were personal friends. The 'invasion' of the BDC was successfully absorbed into this 'personal' tradition, rather than into the style of _BDC Journal_ and _Courier_ from Don Turnbull.

SHARED WIN (1) [MB:Jun80]
(1) A 17-17 draw. (2) More loosely, any draw-of-all-survivors in which the drawers are of about the same strength.
SHARP, Richard (1) [MN:Jan92]
Active in the British hobby between 1972 and 1979 during which time he *ran* most of it, published a widely acclaimed zine _Dolchstoss_ and wrote one ('The Game of Diplomacy, 1978) of only two books to be commercially published on the game. Circa 1984 he re-entered the Hobby, publishing a zine called _Dolchstoss_ (curiously familiar in title) which may not have received the wide critical acclaim that the first incarnation did but remains one of the best reads in the hobby. Sadly, he passed away March 7, 2003. See Personalities (KW).
A country which due to geographical separation is not threatened by another country's drive to win. Usually, this will be the country at the other end of the board (e.g. France to Russia). Special strategy may be required to get the sheltered power either directly involved or at least not to hamper the efforts of the others involved in a stop the lead alliance. (See Fol Si Fie #123).
SHORT TERM strategic MISTAKE (1) [MN:Jan94]
A mistake is said to be a short term strategic mistake if it falls into one of the following two categories:
a) moving units to obviously "irrelevant places", e.g. Turkey opening A Smy-Syr
b) failing to move units to obviously "relevant places", e.g. Turkey failing to move a unit to Bul in spring 1901.
See also dumb mistake long term strategic mistake, tactical mistake. This classification of mistakes was devised by Robert Rehbold.
Richard Sharp's name for the opening A(Con)-Bul, A(Smy)-Con, F(Ank)-Arm. This is generally played as a deliberate sacrifice of BLA with a view to swapping Sev and Con in 1901, an excellent basis for a successful Juggernaut. As well as easing R/T tensions the swap may also disguise the Juggernaut. See Turkish Openings and Russian Openings (KW).
The list of those persons signed up for a given game. The publications of such a list, a common practice, has been justifiably criticized for making it easier for people to enter games just to screw someone in particular.
Richard Sharp's name for any otherwise unnamed German opening using the move A(Ber)-Sil. See German Openings (KW).
Coined by American Tom Hurst to describe the situation which arises, usually after a lengthy alliance, when one partner concentrates too many units on attacking a new foe, thereby leaving his or her back unprotected. E.g. after a Franco-German alliance eliminates England, Germany uses all its units to attack Russia, handing its unprotected home centres to France on a "Silver Platter". Don't do it.
Any player of minimal imagination and skill; common (jesting) insult in North American zines of the 1980s. First used by Bob Olsen in his lighthearted feud with Steve Arnwoodian.
Dick Martin's scoring system, giving one point per centre at game's end, five points for surviving (unless someone reaches 18), and 18 points (12 in final round) for coming in first (split if tied), plus six points for best-of-country. No minimum victory criterion. (Details in _DW_ 24). See Rating Systems (KW).
SLEEZE (1) [MB:Mar82]
Nickname for Dan Stafford.
A listing in _New Statsman_ of persons who have NMRed out of British games, giving the game and zine. Many British zines blacklist dropouts.
SLOBBOVIA (1) [MB:Jun80]
A large variant designed for press, and structured as a perpetual game, still running in _Slobinpolit Journal_. See Variant (KW).
SLOBBOVIA (2) [Bruce Schlickbernd:Nov2004]
I was kinda blundering by your website and I stopped and read several entries, having run a Diplomacy zine in the 70's and 80's (Poictesme and Slobinpolit Zhurnal, the latter as a conglomerate of half a dozen rotating publishers). I just wanted to expand a bit on the Slobbivia variant:

It began as a sort of live role-playing game in 1969 (to explain would take a while in itself), and was adapted to Diplomacy in 1972. A map was drawn up (and expanded several times until it circumnavigated the globe) based around a local lake in Canada and the 'zine Slobinpolit Zhurnal was created to document the proceedings. Players could enter at any time, and there was no way to actually end the game - in fact, there was one supply center entirely surrounded by impassable mountains that no one ever owned. The real purpose of the game was to write "press" of the story variety documenting the various characters in the game and the cultures, sub-cultures, counter-cultures, and various and sundry institutions, savory and unsavory, that went along with them. It was a shared "novel" with a game at its core to give it substance. At its peak there were over 40 players and upwards of 100 pages of press every month. As players graduated from college and otherwise had to actually earn a living, it finally broke up in 1984 (it is not still going, as listed).

Here's a link to an article that appeared in the gaming magazine Different Worlds that Greg Costikyan wrote that gives some background to the game - the original article was illustrated by me, but those, alas, don't appear here: http://www.costik.com/slobbovia.html.

John Walker published an issue of _The Alamo City Times_ that measured 2 inches by 2 inches! See Humour.
SNAIL MAIL (1) [MN:Apr92]
What e-mail fans use to describe the archaic practice of sending paper letters through the post. As well as being archaic it is prone to incredible cock-ups and slowness of delivery.
The game which started it all. Perjoratively referred to as Soccer dross by those who fail to appreciated it. _Chimaera_ ran the first game, since when the rules have been modified to add skill factors. There is now also Cricketboss.
Extrapolation from Soccerboss. Massive multi-player game (with leagues) with much negotiation and obvious appeal to football fans. Many zines now run this.
Term first used by John Miller who took hardcore to mean 'old guard' so used 'softcore' to mean 'games lovers'. Both terms nebulous and ill-defined in terms of people, softcore even more so than hardcore.
A style of play which focuses on leading the game towards a solo-victory, preferably by the solo-centric player; popularised by email fan Dan Shoham.
"When about to accept a draw proposal, a solo-centric asks himself what is the downside of trying one more time to break whatever the deadlock that makes a draw seems plausible? The answer is usually fear of being eliminated (the answer for a non-solo-centric may be the fear of wasting time, but that's never a concern for the solo- centric). When asking what's the upside? the answer is a chance for a higher-scoring smaller draw. Unless the solo-centric is one of the smaller powers in the draw, the upside would almost always outweigh the downside." Dan Shoham, RGD post. 10th January 1995.
Lew Pulsipher's variant for one person, which has an algorithm for determining moves of the enemy. Details in _DW_ 26. See Variant (KW).
A peculiar designation given by Mick Bullock to a game or games which would normally be thought of irregular which for some reason Mick did not want to so designate. Thus, in 1977BI Richard Nash dropped as Austria in S03, but was allowed to take over the German position when the German player, supposedly his girlfriend, also dropped in S03. He labeled this as "somewhat irregular".
Mark Berch's sequel to his own "Lexicon of Diplomacy" published in March 1982 as issue 57 of his zine _Diplomacy Digest_. There were 4 types of items: (1) Corrections to previous entries, (2) Additional information for previous entries, (3) New entries for items which were left out by mistake from Lexicon and, (4) Brand new entries for terms which entered the hobby vocabulary since Spring 1980. The zine also contained an index to the first 57 issues of _Diplomacy Digest_.
Pulsipher's long variant, published in "Diplomacy Games and Variants". A complex mixture of Diplomacy and "traditional fantasy" (not D&D) for 2-7 players. See Variant (KW).
SOURCES (1) [MN:Jan93]
It is possible to download the source code for the Judge and for the mapit programs. The most up-to-date versions of these programs can be currently obtained from the EFF Judge.
The most popular opening for Russia: A(War)-Gal, A(Mos)-Ukr, F(Sev)-BLA. It's a relatively ambiguous opening, since any standoff may be arranged. Some clues are in whether Turkey moves to Arm or whether Italy moves on Austria. There are variations depending upon the order of F(stPsc):
F(StPsc)-Fin (Southern Defence, Finnish Variation)
F(StPsc)-GoB (Southern Defence),
F(StPsc) H (Southern Defence, Houseboat Variation),
F(StPsc)-Lvn (Southern Defence, Livonian Variation).
See Russian Openings (KW).
F(Tri)-Ven, A(Vie)-Gal, A(Bud)-Ser. One of two different versions of the Hedgehog, the other being F(Tri)-Ven, A(Bud)-*RUM*, A(Vie)-Gal. Although Richard Sharp (the deviser of this opening, circa 1975) initially thought the Rum version better, practice showed the Southern Hedgehog to offer better prospects. Nowadays normally referred to as the Hedgehog. The Hedgehog is the main alternative to the Balkan Gambit and many people consider it to be preferable. See Austrian Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: F(Lon)-ENC, F(Edi)-Nth. There are three named variations: the Clyde variation, the Edinburgh variation and the Yorkshire variation. The Wales Variation is better known as the Wales Opening. See English Openings (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for any Russian opening using the moves F(StPsc)-Fin/GoB and A(Mos)-Sev. There are five named variations: the Inertia Variation (A(War)H), the Galician Variation (A(War)-Gal), the Livonian Variation (A(War)-Lvn), the Silesian Variation (A(War)-Sil), the Moscow Variation (A(War)-Mos) and the Prussian Variation (A(War)-Pru). Note that the Ukraine Variation (A(War)-Ukr) is known as the Rumanian Opening when accompanied with F(Sev)-Rum, the Turkish Attack if accompanied with F(Sev)-BLA. The combination A(War)-Ukr, F(Sev)-Arm is known as the Ukraine and Noah's Ark Variation of the Southern System. See Russian Openings (KW).
Since Diplomacy games and articles often do not neatly fill up a page, but fill it up too much to start another game/article, editors frequently resort to 'spacefillers' of irrelevant news. If they can't think of anything, they resort to things like 'This is a spacefiller'. It's a hard, uninspiring life editing a zine.
Whilst some variant rules allow for unusual combinations of regular units (eg Multiple Units or Army/Fleet combinations), other variants contain new types of unit instead or in addition to those in the regular game. These include Airforces, Cavalry, Nucler Missles, Space fleets, Submarines or Tanks. Special Units usually have enhanced combat strength or movement ability or both, their particular capabilities differ from one variant to another. Such units are most common in Science Fiction Variants, Fantasy Variants and recent-period Historical Variants. See also Army/Fleet combinations, Multiple Units, Leaders Units, Pieces and Variant Jargon (KW).
Not played postally, but great love of many players in that it is relatively quick, skillful, and easy to learn. Produced by 3M (now Avalon Hill, but 3M version superior) and obviously based on Waddington's Formula One which is played postally.
SPI [PB:1980]
Simulations Publications Incorporated. The largest board-wargame producer. Criticized by some for coming out with too many wargames which were (a) poorly playtested and (b) made it impossible to know that you would be likely to meet with an equally skilled opponent. Real growth began in 1970 when _Strategy and Tactics_ began to include games with the magazine. Many potential rivals appeared, but the strength of the SPI designing team held good. Then Jim Dunnigan's abrasive personality apparently forced many of them [design team members?--HR] out. Currently in a sticky patch.
Known in North America as ditto.
SPLITS, THE (1) [MN:May93]
Richard Sharp's name for the opening F(Lon)-ENC and F(Edi)-NWG. There are four named variations: the Clyde, Edinburgh, the Wales and the Yorkshire. See English Openings (KW).
A variant designed not so much to be played as to entertain the reader or creator. Examples include: Cities of Nowhen, Diplomafia, Dudland Stripdip. See Variant Jargon (KW).
Mick Bullock's survey of S01 moves for all countries for British games. For example: A(Vie)H, F(Tri)-Alb, A(Bud)-Ser, 4.3%. Most recent was #4 in January 1978, covering all but seven games: 541 games, printed in _New Statsman_ #3.
SPRINGRAID (1) [MB/MN:Jun80+Mar82/Dec92]
Taking a supply centre in the spring, but exiting in the fall. Occasional postal games that have allowed a springraid to take possession are considered irregular, but this is used in some variants.

Entering a centre in spring only makes it neutral, to take possession you must also retain it in Fall. Use in regular games very rare, but was seen in 1966F and 1966K.

When used in Diplomacy variants the usual rule is that SCs can be captured in Spring. See Variant Jargon (KW).

Ordinarily, pieces cannot be removed in Spring. However, a player may deliberately fail to order a piece in Spring, hoping that the GM will not even list it, and other players do not notice. Error is then repeated in Fall, ratifying it. Player then claims right to build in winter. Ethics of this kind are dubious.
SQUID (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Aug95]
Richard Sharp's name for the Russian opening A(Mos)-STP, F(Sev)-BLA, A(War)-Ukr. "The octopus with weak legs" is best used when you are quite confident of A(Vie)'s orders, and don't wish to offend with A(War)-Gal. Variations:
F(StPsc)-Fin (Squid, Finnish Variation),
F(StPsc)-GoB (Squid),
F(StPsc)H (Squid, Houseboat Variation),
F(StPsc)-Lvn (Squid, Livonian Variation).
See Russian Openings (KW).
STAB (1) [MB:Jun80]
(1) Any attack on another player. (2) An unprovoked attack on one's ally. (3) Something intermediate between (1) and (2). In the most common use of the term, the victim is either an ally or there is a non-aggression pact, the attack is a surprise, but not necessarily unprovoked. See ministab and Stabbee.
STAB! (1) [MB:Jun80]
Andy Evans' Hidden movement variant. Within some limits, players can choose initial units. Only moves that result in conflict are published (including supports), plus illegal or impossible moves. Retreats also revealed to the dislodger, providing he lists possibilities. Played only in Britain. See Variant (KW).
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: A(Ven)-Tri, A(Rom)-Ven, F(Nap)-ION). Also known as the Austrian attack. The F(Nap)-TYS version is known as the Tyrrhenian Variation of the Stab Lepanto. See Italian Openings (KW).
STABBEE (1) [MB:Jun80]
The victim of a stabber. While stabbers generally think that their becoming a stabbee is solely the act of a stabber, the experienced players know that diplomatic failures on the part of the stabbee are often a, or the, major cause of a stab.
A player who has the reputation of stabbing for its own sake even when this is not the best line of play. Eventually has trouble finding allies who will trust him.
Established method for rating players in Australia. Awards points from 1-7 for each player's position in a game each season and adds Victory points to the winner at the end. See Rating Systems (KW).
A compilation of articles on stalemate lines compiled for email distribution by Mark Nelson. Version [1.0] was released in May 1994 and was primarily based on Diplomacy Digest 10-11 (April-May 1978) which compiled most articles published on stalemate lines in the 1970s. (Was?) Available at nda.com in the dir /pub/diplomacy/documents.
STALEMATE LINES (1) [MB/RE:Jun80/89-90]
A linkage of units, normally holding and supporting which cannot be broken or circumvented by the opposition. The great majority begin at a board edge, (run through Switzerland, usually) and go off to another board edge, and virtually all embrace either all of Turkey, all of England or both. They exploit the way in which provinces border each other (for example, Switzerland and the Mid-Atlantic bottleneck feature in a number of stalemate lines).

An early example is the one discovered in 1965 by Conrad von Metzke, which uses ten units to hold fifteen supply centres: A(Sev) A(Gal) SA(Ukr), A's(Ukr, Boh Bud) SA(Gal), A(Tyr)SA(Boh), F(WMS) F(Pie) SF(GoL), F(NAf) & F(GoL) SF(WMS). This amply fulfills the primary requirement of a successful stalemate line: that it should contain at least as many supply centres as it requires units to maintain it. In this case, the player could afford several 'roving' units beyond the line. However, this remains a 'minority' stalemate line, rather than a 17-centre position from which it is possible to force a draw: there are countless variations of minority stalemate lines. Note than many will depend on which countries are still active - a line established by England to stop Turkey at the mouth of the Mediterranean would only be secure if France (or Russia or Germany) were not likely or able to raise a fleet in Brest (or St Petersburg, Kiel or Berlin). Stalemates can, of course, be achieved by alliances as well as single powers.

The most complete collection ever published is in _DD_ #10/11. See also Dynamic Stalemate Line, Holcomb Line and Static Stalemate Line.

Same as 'regular' Diplomacy, but used by the semantically exact. The game of Diplomacy played to ordinary rules with no variations that would cause it to be classed 'irregular' or a 'variant'.
A set of S01 moves to be used in place of all units Hold, normally listed in the HRs. These need be strictly neutral.
A generally agreed upon list of ratable games. SRB/30 would be those through to issue #30 of Everything.
STANDBY (1) [PB/MB/TNP:1980/Jun80/1987]
If a player NMRs, his units hold (or substitute orders will be used) and the GM will appoint a standby to submit orders for the next season. Should the player miss again, the standby's orders will be used, and he takes over the position. Rarely used in the UK, the country of a player who drops out usually goes into civil disorder. Idea faded away not so much on theoretical grounds claimed (that Diplomacy was a game between seven players, not seven countries) but because they were a pain to administer, because not many people wanted to be standbys, and because frequently people didn't notice when they had been asked, so countries went into anarchy anyways. See also RATING SYSTEMS FOR STANDBY PLAYERS.
These are the same strength as a regular army, but are not able to move and may only stand and defend the supply centre which they occupy. They are usually neutral units but may be given support by units belonging to any player, as with any other units ordered to hold. In some variants it is possible for one regular unit to occupy a supply centre along with a standing army which belongs to the same power. This is an alternative form of Garrison to that given under Fortresses. See also Variant Jargon (KW).
In theory there is no reason why the same set of orders should not be used indefinitely, especially when defending a stalemate line. In practice, most GMs do not allow standing orders.
Players start with a rating of 100. Rating = Old Rating x (1 +Damper*(S-e)), where S= Calhamer Point Score, and E= old rating/Sum of all 7 old ratings. Damper is a function of games played, reaching an asymptotic value of 0.37 after 13 games. Kept by Jonathan Palfrey. See Rating Systems (KW).
One of Rod Walker's Rating Systems, it gave one point per center (to a maximum of 18) and then divided 18 x total # of games, then x 1000. Replacement players (_DW_ #5) were rated if they played at least three game years and had at least six centres at game's end. See Rating Systems (KW).
This is a Stalemate Line in which all the essential units either hold or support and is the opposite of a Dynamic Stalemate Line. Name coined by Robert Lipton and Douglas Reif in October 1974.
Irregular publications which contain lots of tables and fascinating figures about postal games of Diplomacy.
Magazine of SPI. Formed by Christopher Walton as Wargames magazine (had a Diplomacy special very early on) but financial problems caused Walton to leave and Dunnigan to take over. Dunnigan brought in games on cardboard sheets (no hard back) as part of the zine. The first was "Crete". Then came "Bastogne" which was a way to adapt "Battle of the Bulge", an Avalon Hill game. Things picked up and some classic games including "France 1940" (bought by Avalon Hill), "Borodino" and "Napoleon at Waterloo" appeared. As time went on, more and more games appeared and the hobby spread. For detailed history and a guide to the whole caboodle, get "The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming" by Nicky Palmer (Arthur Barker, 1977) from your library.
(a) The name for a strong Anglo-French alliance (cf the Juggernaut for a strong Russian-Turkey alliance). (b) Sometimes used by people to denote a strong Russian-Turkish alliance although they should use the word Juggernaut for such an alliance! Not commonly used, because popular opinion these days seems to be that the French and English are enemies from the word go! See English Openings (KW) and French Openings (KW).
A country's focal point. The point on the map which is closer to all home supply centres than any other. E.g. in Turkey, the point where Ank, Smy and Con all meet. Draw a line from Stiltskin's Dot through Switzerland and then another one perpendicular to that, also through Switzerland. Possible Rumple's Dots lie on the other side of that line.
STOOGE (1) [TNP:87]
A player who sticks by you through thick and through thin and is the first to congratulate you when you win. Stooges never win games by themselves. See also Puppet.
These arise when one player threatens to win, and others race to either push him back, or form a stalemate line. Problems include the difficulty of coordinating the moves of 3-5 players, if needed, sabotage by a Sheltered Power, submerging pre-existent grudges and conflicts, the problem of those with strong second philosophies, disagreements over who should be allowed into the draw, reluctance to leave one's safe centers for a position on the lines, the necessity of marshaling the needed numbers of both armies and fleets, and apathy in the face of a perceived inevitable win.
StP GAMBIT (1) [MB:Jun80]
Openings based on A(Mos)-StP. It is a gambit, as Russia is sacrificing both the initiative in the Balkans, and the increased defensive posture vis-a-vis Turkey that moving both armies south would usually give. See Northern Opening, Octopus, Russian Openings (KW) and Squid.
The philosophy of play or rating that values a strong, undisputed second place finish above participation in a draw, especially a large draw. They are often referred to as "loyal ally" by the leader, and "snively puppet" by the others. The opposite is win only. Debates have raged over whether these make good or poor allies. See also Puppet.
STRS (1) [MN:May93]
Abbreviation for Super Tournament Rating System.
Anyone getting a zine. (2) Anyone getting a zine and paying for it in cash (i.e. not trades). (3) Anyone getting a zine, paying in cash, but not playing.
Money paid as credit to a publisher so that he owes you zines, rather than you owing him money. As most zines run at a loss, editors are not very tolerant of lapsed subscriptions. In the early days some zines charged on a 'per page' basis but the trend has been steadily away from that.
Orders, either from an assigned standby, an outsider, or a GM, used on a first NMR in place of all units hold. Rarely used after 1901. See: Neutral Orders, Phantom Orders, Standard Openings and Tretick Standby System.
SUBZINE (1) [MB/JM:Jun80/Jun92]
A zine within a zine, usually with a different editor. Subzines can be anything from an occasional editorial burst from a subscriber labeled with an ongoing title and numbering scheme, to a fully-fledged effort running games, letter columns and editorial material. In some instance the subzine has been larger than the original zine! Examples include: Annexe in Mad Policy, Cannonade in Shenandoah Services, Cat-Tastrophe in Brouhaha (and later to Eggnog), Kobold in The Beholder and Monochrome Supplement in XL. In some cases, subzines have left the nest and become independent, such as An-Taidhleois out of Sauce of the Nile and Eggnog from Claw Fang. [Note: _zine_ format not used.]

There have been many hundreds of subzines over the years, perhaps as many titles as actual full-fledged zines. While the first subzine may have been contained in John Koning's sTab, subzine did not become widespread until the advent of cheap photographic reproduction in the late 1970s. The 1980s saw a proliferation of subzines (often several to a zine, and often one title roaming from zine to zine), as it was an easy way for a budding publisher to get his feet wet and discover if publishing was a venture for him.

A British Hobby Poll designed to find the best subzine. Ran by Toby Harris in 1993.
Year  # Voters # Subzines Subzine (Editor, Zines)
1993    32        29 1st  Holgate's Happy Hour (Paul Holgate, Bloodstock)
                     2nd  The Blue Nose Special (John Colledge,
                          Arfle Barfle Gloop and Smodnoc)
                     3rd  Novelty (David Tittle, Smodnoc)
See also Hobby Awards (KW).
(1) A variant created by Mark Berch which changes neither the map nor adjudication rules. In addition to primary orders for one's own country, secondary orders for another country are submitted (either to help an ally or harm an enemy). If no secondary orders are submitted for a given country, the primary orders are used; otherwise the proxy (secondary) orders are used. Rules in DW 27. See Variant (KW).
To throw all of one's units against one player, rather than a balanced defence against all attackers. This can occur when (1) The player believes he is doomed, and seeks revenge against the person who has treated him most shabbily. He may wish to establish a reputation for retaliating against stabs, so as to discourage his being stabbed in other games. (2) The player wishes to ingratiate himself with one person with the eventual eye towards future puppet status, so he doesn't resist. See also Prosnitz Maneuver and Puppet.
Steve Doubleday's variant for 4 people beginning with 4 SCs and one mutually attached space. Players begin by building up the map. See Variant (KW).
A super-nation is a power in a Diplomacy variant that is very much stronger than other powers. The existence of a super-nation usually means that the variant is unbalanced (unplayable?!). If a variant contains a superpower than the other powers will usually have to gang up against it if they wish to survive the game.

Super-nations are found in many Tolkien variants, in particular there is a class of Tolkien variant known as "Super-Sauron" which features Mordor as an extremely super super-nation. See Variant Jargon (KW).

Beware of the player who signs on for 40 games within a year of entering the hobby, starts a zine, and takes on more than 15 games as soon as possible, for you have all the characteristics of someone who will go 'supernova'. In terms of character, they have deep short-term interests, and short-term means their fall is as sharp as their rise, leaving someone else to pick up the mess.
SUPERNOVA (1) [MB:Mar82]
The name for Bruce Linsey's 35 page novice publication. It covers nearly all aspects of the hobby and game. Cost is $1, used to be free to novices. (Still in print from Fred C. Davis Jnr. and Bruce Linsey)
Beyerlein's Austro-Italian opening: A(Ven)-Tyo-Boh, A(Rom)-Apu-Tun via F(ION), A(Vie)-Gal, A(Bud)-Ser-SF(Alb)-Gre. Thereafter F(Gre) supports Italy in the south, even as A(Boh) helps Austria against Russia. Eventually, I-A is an expanding hollow shell. See Austrian Openings (KW) and Italian Openings (KW).
Abbreviated to STRS. A STRS is a rating system which takes results from Diplomacy tournaments and combines them to produce a ranking of tournament players. There are two different approaches: (1) To award players points based upon their placing in the tournament and (2) To award players points based upon their performance in each game played. See Open Swedish Championship, Rating Systems (KW).
SUSPICION (1) [MB:Jun80]
A professional courtesy extended to the other six players by a prudent strategist. In excess doses, it can cause paralyzing indecision and paranoia. In insufficient doses, it causes paralyzing stabs.
See Swedish PBM Zine Poll.
Italy moves to Tri in S01 and then is convoyed to Gre via Austrian F(ADR), with support from Italian F ION. This permits Austria to use A(Ser)SA(Gal)-Rum. The fake S01 war presumably fools Russia and Turkey. Details reprinted in DD 16. See Austrian Openings (KW) and Italian Openings (KW).
SWAP (1) [MB:Jun80]
If a player has no adjustments required in winter, the voluntary disbandment of units and the building of an equal number of units is called a swap. Although not expressly forbidden by Rule XIII, 2, GMs generally do not permit this.
A system designed to find the best FTF diplomacy player in Sweden based on performance in Swedish diplomay tournaments in the last year. All conventions that register with the organiser at least three months in advance are rated. Tournaments registering with less than three months notice are automaticaly ranked R1. The Swedish Diplomacy Championships are always ranked one level higher. Rank: 1, 28-48; 2, 49-69; 3, 70-; 4: Swedish Championships with over 70 players.

Points are awarded as follows:

Place: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 9 10 11 12 13 14
R1    10  7  5  4  3  2  1
R2    15 11  8  7  6  5  4  3 2  1
R3    20 16 12 11 10  9  8  7 6  5  4  3  2  1
R4    25 21 17 14 13 12 11 10 9  8  7  6  5  4
The system was designed and run by Per Westling (1990-1992). It was updated and run by Roland Isaksson (1993-95). From 1996 the custodian will be Joakim Spangberg.
1990: Roland Isaksson, 1991: Ulf Jireton, 1992: Nils Lindeberg, 1993: Dan Horning, 1994: Thomas Andersson.
See also Open Swedish Championships, Rating Systems (KW) and Super Tournament Rating System.
SWEDISH PBM ZINE POLL (1) Organised by Per Westling (1992-present),
Year Voters First       Second  Third       Fourth
1994 26     Avalonia    Mu      Red Dwarf   Lepanto 4-Ever
1993 24     Avalonia    Mu      Gr{nslandet Dipsosis
1992 40     Gr{nslandet Rosten fran Avgunden   Dipsosis
In 1991/1992 the Poll was known as the Scandinavian PBM Poll as the one/two Norwegian Zine(s) in existance were included. The 1992 Poll used a Marco Poll system whilst the 1993 and 1994 Polls used a one-thirds average and two-thirds preference matrix method. The deadline for the Poll is the end of the year. See also Hobby Awards (KW).
Fred C. Davis' variant in which an 8th country is created by dividing Switzerland into 2SCs, and giving it a third in North Africa. In the II version, buffer zones were added, the Swiss fleet began in "Lombardy", and some other changes were made. Rules in DW 16. See Variant (KW).
Means used in some tournaments for allocating players to particular games. In the first round, players are chosen at random. In successive rounds, the 7 best performers are placed together on a top table with the next seven on table 2 and so on. Supporters of the Swiss System see it as a way of making the "cream" rise to the top. Opponents argue that the System favours some styles of play over others and is therefore unfair and detrimental to the game. See Rating Systems (KW).
Turkey begins with a standoff in the BLA, then moves to Con. A(Smy)H (i.e. Pastiche opening), then A(Smy)-Syr. This permits Turkey to build on either coast, and support himself either to AEG or BLA, send fleets to both AEG and EAS, or go in both directions. Notice how if Turkey does not choose a victim in 1901, his second army actually gets in the way, and must be ditched for full W01 freedom. Extremely rare; used in 1977KJ. See Turkish Openings (KW).

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

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