Diplomacy A-Z, Version 6.0

V to Z Entries

Insane variant thought up in a drunken mood by either Richard Sharp, Steve Doubleday or Doug Wakefield. Consists of each country having its own 'variant' power, but other countries not knowing what that power is. Typically taken seriously by those it was meant to be a joke on, and now rationalized into a hideously complicated and apparently phenomenally enjoyable game. See Variant (KW).
Zine by John Koning and Chris Wagner (Editor of Strategy and Tactics), period of time 1968-69. They had one of the first commentary analysis of a game for learning: 1968AB featuring some of the better known gamemasters and players of the time. See Zine Names.
VANILLA (1) [MN:Feb93]
Vanilla games were Diplomacy games being moderated by Ken Lowe at the time of his burnout in November 1992. Whilst Ken was listed as 'moderator' he was moderating so many different games that he was unable to pay any particular attention to any of them. A number of players made requests for new moderators to take over these games.
VANILLA (2) [MN:Sep93]
A vanilla game is now considered to be a standard game with no special flags. So called because all the games that Ken Lowe ran on the Washington Judge used all the default settings. New players are advised to play in a vanilla game to get used to the workings of a Judge. (These two entries show how quickly diplomacy terminology can change!)
This exists where players are given a choice in the initial placement of the units belonging to their power. Before the game begins some or all of the home supply centres are vacant and players may choose what kinds of units start from where. (When added to the regular game this is called 'Winter 1900 Diplomacy'). In some cases the untis are not limited to starting the game in supply centres and may be placed in any home province. See also Build Centres and Variant Jargon (KW).
VARIANT (1) [MB/RE/BL:Jun80+Mar82/89-90/Feb07]
A game based loosely or tightly on Diplomacy, which varies the rules, the board, or both. One can participate not only as a player but by generating new variants, or new versions of old variants, and this is a major creative outlet. At least 600 have been created, but only two (Colonial Diplomacy and Battleline's "Machiavelli", both produced by Avalon Hill, the latter since 1982) have been marketed commercially.

Variants exist which transfer the game from a European milieu to the world of Tolkien's Middle Earth, to a worldwide setting or to medieval Italy. Others add new units like submarines and air forces, increase the number of players or provide for hidden movement, like Kreigspiel chess. So many variants have appeared over the years that a number of Variant Banks have been established within the postal hobby to collect them into archives. Most prominent among these are the United Kingdom Variant Bank (UKVB) and the North American Variant Bank (NAVB).

It is, however, often difficult to find enough players to get up a game of one of the less well known variants. Most variant GMs are reluctant to run variants that they themselves have not created. The early stalwarts of the variant hobby were Don Miller and Rod Walker, with major contributions from Bob Sacks, Lew Pulsipher, and Fred Davis. Don Miller ran the first diplomacy variant in 1965 through _Diplophobia_, although by the standard of today some of the early diplomacy games (eg 1963A) would be classed as variants. See Bomb, Country Variant, Global Variant, Hidden Movement, Hyperspace, Madman, Spoof, Tolkien, Variant Jargon (KW) and Variant (KW).

First published variant was Middle-Earth Dip II in _Graustark_ in 1965.

VARIANT AZ (1) [MN:Dec92]
A companion file to this document providing reviews of many Diplomacy variants. Version [2.0], which contains reviews of 200 variants, will be released in January 1994. See Variant Jargon (KW).
A collection of Diplomacy variants culled from Diplomacy fanzines that are made available to hobby members for the cost of copying and postage. A catalogue is usually available which lists which variants are available, tells you how many players you need for each and sometimes gives you a basic idea of what type of variant each listed design is. Most countries which have a postal hobby have a Variant Bank. The largest variant Banks are those in North America (the NAVB), which is also in charge of cataloging variants, and the UKVB.

The main problem with the construction of an email variant bank is the distribution of maps. Many variants use the regular board, or a simple extension of it which can be readily described (some simple variants which use a non-standard map can also be described) but many variants do not fit into either of these categories. Judge contains PostScript files for some variant maps but obviously this is not a realistic route to take.

The conclusion would seem to be that e-mail fans should use their local bank for variants which require a new map and someone should volunteer to set up an email variant bank for those variants which do not require a new map. See Variant Jargon (KW).

See UKVB and Variant Jargon (KW).
Fred Davis' Variant Archives, which also publish variant news and supply copies where needed. See Variant Jargon (KW).
Canadian Variant Bank run by John Lipscomb, affiliated with CDO. See Variant Jargon (KW).
Rod Walker's variant archives. Sponsors an occasional listings zine ARDA. Answers questions and does research, and supplies copies of variants. See Variant Jargon (KW).
An insurance scheme, at $5 per GM, for those running a certifiably playable variant. Never implemented. See Variant Jargon (KW).
The 'variant sub-hobby' has evolved its own terminology, mostly to describe different ideas in the design of diplomacy variants: Abstract Variant, A/F, Army/Fleet combinations, Bomb Variant, Build Centre, Canals, Certifiably Playable, Choice set-ups, Coastal Crawl, Control of Neutrals, Country Variant, Decoy Unit, Diplomacy Games and Variants, Diplomacy Variants Commission, Direct Passage, Embarkation, Fantasy Variants, Fluid Supply Centres, Fortresses, Garrisons, Global Variant, Guerillia Build, Hidden Movement, Hidden Movement Variants, High Ocean, Hyperspace Variants, International Variant Association, International Variant Commission, Intimate Diplomacy --- Knockout Competition, Just's Right Hand Rule, Key Rule, Key Variant Rule, Leader Units, Miller Number Custodian, Miller Numbers, Multiple Supply Centres, Multiple Unit, NAVB, NAVB Catalog, NAVB-North, North American Variant Bank, North American Variant Bank Numbers, North American Variant Hobby Poll, Off-board Boxes, Off-board initial placement, Paper Units, Pieces, Piggyback Convoy, Realism/Play Balance, Science Fiction Variants, Spoof or Humor Variant, Special Unit Types, Springraid, Standing Armies, Super-nation, Team Game, Ten Best Diplomacy Variants, Tolkien Variants, UKVB, UKVB Archivist, United Kingdom Variant Bank, Variable Placement, Variant, Variant AZ, Variant Bank, Variant Bank of UK, Variant Bank-East, Variant Bank-North, Variant Bank-West, Variant Insurace Project, Variant Orphan Rescue Service, Variant Package 2, Variant Playtesting Service, Variant Poll, Variant (KW), Varioddmod, Ventura, Waterways, William Preston Award for Variant of the Year, World Variant Association and World Variant List.
VARIANT (KW) (1) [MN:Dec93]
The following variants are reviewed in this document: Aberration IV, Abstract Variant, Abstraction, Active Neutrals, Anarchy, Ancient Empires III, Anonymity, Armed Neutrals, Atlantica III, Black Hole, Brazilian Variant, Chaos, Classic Diplomacy, Cline 9-man variant, Conquest of the New World, Deluge, Diplowinn, Disorganization, Downfall, Economic Diplomacy, Erratic Diplomacy, Escalation Diplomacy, Europe 1721, Excalibur, Fink Rule, Fleet Rome, Flintlock II, Fog of War, Foreknowledge Variant, Gibralter II, Grand Tournament Diplomacy, Gunboat Diplomacy, Gunboat Diplomacy II, Holocaust, Hypereconomic Diplomacy, Interstellar Diplomacy, Intimate Diplomacy, Key Variant, MAD Diplomacy, Madman, Mercator, Militarism IV, Multiplicity, Proxy Plomacy, Pseudo-Classical Diplomacy, Purest Diplomacy, Roman-Style Diplomacy Scotice Scipti III, Seven Year's War, Slobbovia, Solo Diplomacy, Song of the Night, Stab!, Succedaneum!, Sundered Worlds, Swiss Diplomacy, Tadek Diplomacy, Third Age, Treaty Diplomacy, Twin Earths, United States Diplomacy, Vain Rats, Vote, World War III (Reinsel), World War III (Rosenberg), World War III (Sergeant), Youngstown Variant, 1885, 1914 O Jogo da Diplomacia and 1958 Diplomacy.

If you are interested in diplomacy variants you are advised to read the Variant.AZ file.

Variant version of the OGP, responsible to the MNC and the IVC. Present custodian is Ray Heuer, but its status is dubious. See Variant Jargon (KW).
Subtitled 'Then Best Diplomacy Variants' this UKVB package was produced by Andrew Poole in 1986 and contains the rules for Fred C. Davis' personal choice of most enjoyable and most playable variants; Aberration IIO, Abstraction II, Atlantica III, Cline 9-Man Diplomacy IV, Diadochi V (includes Imperator and Triumverate rules), Dual-Space Diplomacy, Middle Earth VIII, Small World II-R, Woolworth Diplomacy II and 1885 IIIR. There are five appendices: (A) Abstraction A/F rules Modules, (B) Retreats and Removals Rules, (C) Off-Board box rules, (D) Province abbreviations for Regular diplomacy and explanations, and (E) Variant Glossary (reprinted in this document). See Variant Jargon (KW).
Set up by Ferkin Doyle for Face to Face playtesting. Defunct. See Variant Jargon (KW).
There have been a number of attempts over the years to determine the 'best' variant. In 1992 Per Westling ran a Poll restricted to variants designed by Scandinavians. 15 people voted and the top three designs were: (1) Arab Diplomacy (Roland Isaksson), (2) Dagen Efter (Neils Lindeberg) and (3) Youngstown XIV (Norger Borgersen et al). See Variant Jargon (KW), William Preston Award.
A variant rating system similar to ODDMOD, created by John Leeder and presently allowed to languish by James Hymas. See Rating Systems (KW) and Variant Jargon (KW).
VEGA (1) [MB:Jun80]
Created by Dick Vedder, this was the first rating system just for variants. Basically, in an N player game, first place gets N, second N-1, etc. The winner also got 1 point for each country eliminated. Points divided evenly for draws. See Rating Systems (KW) and Variant Jargon (KW).
VENTURA (1) [AoS:88]
Game distributor supplying some (Australian) states with Diplomacy.
Presently for regular games, this is control of 18 centers for a "Rulebook" victory. The earlier Rulebook had "majority of units on the board". However, postal GMs permit voted wins with fewer than 18, generally requiring that no one has more than the voted winner, and some set a minimum. Face to Face play often allows the person with the most centres and a clear lead to claim a win. Some tournament scoring systems (Berch, Brux, Simple) lower it for time-curtailed games. Some variants have different criteria for different countries (e.g. Scotice Scripti III).
In Australian Diplomacy, the extra points awarded to the winner in the Stab ratings.
VIENNA (1) [MN:Jan92]
A UK zine edited by Richard Egan which ran from circa 1986 to 1990. For much of this time it ran to three week deadlines, a considerable achievement given the huge number of games it ran (the zine often ran over 60 pages). A core zine for the period. See Viennamob and Zine Names (KW).
VIENNAMOB (1) [MN:Apr92]
A collection of fanatical Vienna readers who often met up at house cons and conventions and shared a collective identity, many of them lived in or around Bristol. Accusations were made that they also voted collectively in Hobby Polls to ensure that Vienna and its GMs won. With the fold of Vienna the Viennamob are no longer the force that they were and many of them no longer play a role in the Hobby mainstream.
Richard Sharp's name for the opening: F(Bre)-MAO, A(Par)-Gas and A(Mar)-Bur. The idea is to arrange a stand-off with Germany in Bur and then capture Spa (from Mar) and Por (from Gas by MAO) leaving France with F(MAO) and more options for 1902. Gained popularity in the 1980's in British postal circles. This opening is more systematically named the Vineyard Variation of the Burgundy Opening. See French Openings (KW) and Inverted Vineyard.
Bruce Linsey's zine, published from 1979-1984. The zine was one of the largest and most active in hobby history. It was always published on time, a rarity in the hobby, and it folded cleanly (with refund checks enclosed) after 100 issues. Contained many play-of-the game articles, writing contests, houserule discussions, quite a bit controversy (especially during the Great Feud), and an enormous letter column. Its final issue weighed in at 270 pages, and it won the Runestone (Zine) Poll in 1985.
Conrad's favourite: A(Vie)-Tyr, F(Tri)-ADR, A(Bud)-Tri. Some claim that the poor statistics for Austria in the early days of the hobby are due in part for Conrad's penchant for both Austria and this opening. See Austrian Openings (KW).
VOTE [PB:1980]
Game where each Diplomacy country has a 'leader' and 'voters' who together decide moves. The theory is that the country that is the most organized will be the most successful. Tried in _Gallimaufry_ and _Pyrrhic Victory_. See Variant (KW).
WAHF COLUMN (1) [MB/MN:Mar82/Dec92]
"We also heard from". Sometimes the editor has too many letters to print, but doesn't want to discourage writers, so a WAHF column, laced with snippets, is used to acknowledge receipt. Used in _Dolchstoss_ and _Greatest Hits_. Usage comes from SFdom. Usually a list of people headed by the title WAHF.
See Signup List.
WALES OPENING (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Jul94]
F(Lon)-ENG, A(Lpl)-Wal. It is normally attempted when England is quite sure of taking the Channel, a fact seen by its high success rate compared with other F(Lon)-ENG openings. The most common target for A(Wal) is Bel. However my statistics on 17 openings with entry into ENG shows that A(Wal)-Bre succeeded 5 times in 5.

The Wales Opening is properly called the Wales Variation of the Southern Opening, but it has always been known as the Wales Opening. See English Openings (KW).

WALKER AWARD, The (1) [MN/FCD:Spring92]
The full name of this North American Hobby Award is The Rod Walker Literary Award which is something of a mouthful, hence the abbreviation. The Award was established by the Avalon Hill Game Company in 1983 to mark the 25th anniversary of the commercial sale of the game Diplomacy. Inspired by the success of the Miller Award, Avalon Hill purchased a large Perpetual Plaque, and presented it to Larry Peery for coordination of the voting along with the Miller Award each year. This was done in Rod Walker's name since he was one of the leading lights in the Diplomacy literary field at that time.

Nominators are requested to enclose a photocopy of the nominated article, if it does not exceed about 4 pages. If the nomination is for a book or a long series, just produce a copy of the material when making the final selections. Each member of the selecting committee receives a copy of this material when making their selection. A list of winners:

1984 Mark Berch: For the fictional piece "The Sleaziest player of all Time: Shep Rose" in _Diplomacy World_, Spring 1983.
1985 Bruce Linsey: For five years of publication of _Voice of Doom_, including the most active letter column in the hobby's history, and producing and distributing the novice publication, Supernova.
1986 Daf Langley: This was for a factual piece she wrote for Diplomacy World 39, "The Making of a Major Con".
1987 J.R. Baker: For the various cartoons he drew for _Diplomacy World_ over the years.
1988 Mark Berch: For an article in _Diplomacy World_ and
(tie) Fred C. Davis Jnr: For production of "The North American Variant Bank Catalog, 1987-88".
1989 Rex Martin et al: For producing a Diplomacy-featured special issue of _The General_ (Vol 24 No 3) in 1988.
1990 Larry Botimer: "Playing Italy" in Kathy's Korner #155. and (tie)
Francois Cuerrier: "Lowballing: in _Passchendaele_ #97.
1991 Mark Berch: "The Power The Glory" in _The General_, Vol 25 No 4.
1992 Garret Schenck: work on _The Zine Directory_.
1993 Conrad von Metzke
1994 David Smith: "The Crimean Opening", _Diplomacy World_ 70.
1995 - Ken Walker
1996 - Tim Hoyt
1997 - Mark Fassio
1998 - Conrad von Metzke
1999 - Heath Gardner
2000 - Paul Windsor
2001 - Allan B. Calhamer
2002 - Joe Brennan and Glenn Ledder (tied)
2003 Paul Windsor
2004 Manus Hand
See Hobby Awards.

WALKER, ROD (1) [Rod Walker/MN, The Gamer's Guide To Diplomacy 1979/Sep94]
Rod Walker started playing FTF Diplomacy in 1961 and became involved in postal Diplomacy in 1966. From 1966 to 1976 he published a postal Diplomacy publication, _EREHWON_, (one of the more famous US zines, revived briefly in the early 1980's when Rod made a brief comeback after giving up the DW editorship) as well as several other titles. In all, he has edited and published more than 600 items relating to Diplomacy. In addition, his articles have been widely printed in other publications. He was Boardman Number Custodian from 1969 to 1972, while at the same time undertaking several other projects. Rod was the first person to run a zine dedicated to publishing game starts and results (_Numenor_, previous BNC's reported stats in their own zines). During 1970-71 he was a member of the ad hoc committee which assisted in the rewriting of the Rulebook. From 1968 to 1971 he wrote a regular column on Diplomacy for the professional wargaming journal Strategy & Tactics. In 1971 he launched the first Game Opening Flyer, He was editor of _Diplomacy World_ in the late 1970's and early 1980's. See Personalities (KW).
The game is worth 34 points, given to the winner or divided among the drawers. If the game is won, each survivor gets -2 points for each SC he is stuck with at games end. Reduced victory criteria, with a minimum lead required. Used with some modification at DipCon XI. Details in DW 19; discussion in DW 22. See Rating Systems (KW).
An entry that needs to be written. Some time.
Richard Walkerdine's original name for what has since become known as the Zine Poll. See Hobby Awards (KW).
WAP (1) [MN:Dec92]
See War On Automatic Pilot.
WAREHOUSE ZINE (1) [MB/MN:Jun80/Aug94]
A zine which carries lots of games and virtually nothing else. Sometimes the term is used contemptuously. A classic example is _A.D.A.G_, the first warehouse zine proper was _Wild 'N Wooley_.
Can be board-wargames (called Co-Sims in Europe), Tabletop or Miniatures (depending on whether you play them or not) or the real thing, played by soldiers to find out how many people they can kill at what cost to their own men.
Gigantic wargames from SPI mentioned only because they (like Drang Nach Osten) may be mentioned in terms of gargantuanism and nothing else.
An idea of Mark Berch's in 1989 designed to reduce the damage inflicted by an NMR. The GM merely repeats the orders used by the NMRing power in the previous season. The BNC decreed that regular games running such a rule were *not* variants but bona fide games of regular dip (that this was ever in doubt tells us something interesting about American Hobby members...). See also Intelligent War On Automatic Pilot.
Richard Sharp's name for the openings involving F(StPsc)-Fin/GoB and A(Mos)-War. There are three named variations: the Galician (A(War)-Gal), the Silesian (A(War)-Sil) and the Ukraine (A(War)-Ukr). See Russian Openings (KW).
WARTHOG (1) [MN:Dec92]
Richard Sharp's name for the rarely used Austrian opening (0.87%): F(Tri)-Alb, A(Vie)-Gal and A(Bud)-Rum. Richard writes that it is "a new name for something resembling a Hedgehog but not as pretty". Also known as Rumanian Gambit (Balkan Roadhog Variation). See Austrian Openings (KW).
An order which did not affect adjudication. E.g. cut support, or unsupported move opposed by a supported move. The Wasted Order Ratio (WOR) is the proportion of wasted orders to total orders.
WATERWAYS (1) [AP:1986]
These exist where a narrow channel or canal/inland waterway provides a through passage for fleets between sea areas which would otherwise be seperated by intervening land provinces. There are basically two types of waterway. The first is where a waterway runs *through* a single province; Constantinople and Kiel in the regular game are examples of this: Any fleet may move through the province using the canal to enter in one coast, and then leave from the other coast on the next turn. Armies may move into or out of the province without concern for the waterway.

The second type is where a waterway runs *between* two provinces; the Denmark/Sweden border in the regular game is an example. Any fleet may move through the waterway using the adjoining land provinces as if they were coastal provinces, entering either province from one side and then leaving on the other side of the waterway on the next turn. Here the waterway also forms the boundary between the two adjoining provinces. Armies may cross the line of the canal; their movement is in no way affected by its presence. In neither of these types of waterway may armies cross or be convoyed through canals. The Direct Passage link also creates a situation whre army and fleet movement cross each other at right angles. See also Variant Jargon (KW).

WDC (1) [MN:Jan92+Jan93]
A common abbreviation for "World Dip Con", a Diplomacy convention that wanders around the globe and provides a meeting place for those Diplomacy fans that are active on the international scene. The WDC concept has been extensively discussed by a number of fans in a number of fanzines. Before World Dip Con there were very few opportunities for internationally minded hobby members to meet each other... Canadian zine editor Steve Hutton visited the London Hobbymeet in May 1985 and Fred C. Davis visited several Hobby members when he came to the UK in September 1986 for a holiday.

WDC    Location       Year  # Players Winner        #team   #Winner
WDC I {ManorCon} VI   1988
WDC II North Carolina 1990
WDC III Australia     1992
WDC IV {ManorCon} XII 1994   94 P. Montagna (France) 17     Sweden
# Players is the number of Players in the dip tournament. (This excludes players who did not play enough games to be rated.)
#team Number of teams in the diplomacy team tournament.
#Winner Winner of the team tournament.
The very anti-French opening of A(Rom)H/-Tus-Tun via F(TYS), A(Ven)-Pie-Mar/S FA(Spa)-Mar. In S02, F(TYS) can move to WES to convoy to Spain, or is in a position to directly block F(Mar)-LYO. If there are no eastern commitments, this will be a rare circumstance when building F(Rom) is superior to F(Nap), as F(Rom)-Tus permits the piece to be used directly in F02. The A(Rom)-Tus variant is known as the French Attack. See Italian Openings (KW).
France, Germany, England, and, depending on the alliance structure, Italy. The most quintessential Western power is France.
WHO'S WHERE (1) [MB/MN:Mar82/Aug93]
In England, an alphabetical listing of active players with a notation as to which zines and games they are in. Produced by Mick Bullock in the 1970's. Replaced by _The Fat Lady Sings_.
Allan Calhamer's strategic notion that you should demolish England and Turkey (the Wicked Witches) before they demolish you. The theory was that between them, they could encircle any power, had a too-strong defensive position at the board's corners, and without their cooperation, stalemate lines could not be constructed. Thus, to gain the safety of the stalemate line you must either swallow one of them, or make yourself indispensable to him.

Though they are on opposite sides of the board, they can still be sometimes found in alliance courtesy of their mutual rivalry with Russia: an alliance of the Wicked Witches is often what Russia fears most. But despite the advantages of their opening positions, these two powers are not especially favoured to win games: their corner positions are difficult to expand from, and will usually rely on a fleet-oriented strategy (there are seven supply centres on the board which fleets cannot occupy).

WILD 'N WOOLY (1) [CvM/MN:1992/Aug94]
In the very early days of the hobby each zine only ran one game. It wasn't until _Wild 'N Wooly_ appeared (October 1964) that the concept of more than one game per zine was started. _Wild 'N Wooly_ was pubbed by Dan Brannan (aka Steve Cartier), one of many SF fans involved at the start of the postal diplomacy hobby.

_Wild 'N Wooly_ was the first warehouse zine in the hobby. Dan's second wife Christina, an extremely talented artist, contributed a number of drawings that were just about as spectacular as one could get on a mimeo master. These drawing, in black and white, were reprinted in the first and second edition of The Gamer's Guide To Diplomacy and have oft been reprinted in diplomacy fanzines.

It was one of the earliest zines to adopt the rule that no replacement players would be used (Dan had a codicil, "unless all other players agreed," but this only happened once), and when the zine became erratic there were numerous dropouts whose absence in effect ruined the games.

But what _Wild 'N Wooly_ did, better than anything else in its day, was recruiting new players to the hobby; Dan made extensive use of mailing lists he acquired, and sent endless samples to people he ran into at SF conventions --- he even ran off vast numbers of extra copies to pass out at these meets. In effect he became the first hobby 'ambassador,' and his success was not equalled into until the flyer in the game box came to be.

Folded with issue 144 on June 24th 1972.

William Preston was an obscure member of the hobby who was friendly with Richard Egan. When he died tragically of heart failure at the age of 22 Richard introduced a variant poll in his memory. It was intended to be an annual poll of Diplomacy variant players to identify the variant which had brought most pleasure to the Hobby during the previous twleve months. Voters were allowed to vote for up to three variants that they GMd, played or watched during the year in question. Points were allocated 3-2-1 to the variants.
Year  #Voters Top Three
1988  43       Chaos II (25) & Downfall (all marks 25), Somewhat Demiurgic
               Diplomacy. (16)
1989  43       Africa II (32), Downfall X (20), Utter Ludicrous Diplomacy (18).
Richard William's STRS system for calculating the best tournament player in the UK. Tournament games are rerated using the following system:
(1) An outright win scores 250 points with survivors scoring 1 point for each supply centre owned.
(2) For all draws, each player gets 25 points for each player he has more centres than in a game, plus 3 points for each supply centre owned.
(3) In all cases a knockout gets no points.
(4) A players "tournament score" is the average of all the games he has played at rated tournaments.

All games played at ManorCon and MidCon are rated. To qualify for the final results table a player must have played at least five games, two of which must have been at MidCon. Details taken from _Smodnoc_ 37 (February 1992). See Rating Systems (KW).

John Wilman's system for scoring completed and running games. Completed games give 100 points to winners or divided evenly among drawers. For running games, score triple the number of SCs (game is thus worth 3*34=102 points). Add totals for all games and divide by the number of games. See Rating Systems (KW).
WINNING BIG (1) [MN:Nov95]
It is very difficult to win with more than about 22 centers unless someone is helping you. An example of a Big Win is 1977HT, run in _Graustark_ by John Boardman, which ended in a win for David Crocket in Fall 1918 with 30 centers!

1980AB (reported in _Everything_ 53) was an interesting game. Austria (played by Dick Martin) reached 17 centers in 1907 whilst England had 12. The original England player dropped in S08 and was replaced by Mark Lew. By 1912 England had captured the 5 Italian centers and it was 17-17. In 1913 Austria captured all of the English centers to finish on 34. Dick Martin and Mark Lew are old friends...

A novice loses becauses of their mistakes. An intermediate player loses because of the mistakes made by other players. An expert wins games because of the mistakes he induces in the other players.

Except against novice competition, novices don't usually win. Occasionally, they get lucky and another novice makes a mistake in their favor.

An intermediate can hold their own against experts. In an intermediate/expert game, they stand as good a chance winning as anyone else. However, introduce one novice into the game, and the intermediate immediately gets destroyed by the novice; the novice destroying himself in the process.

An expert gets the novices to make the stupid mistakes that hurt the intermediates and themselves at the same time.

The real test of how good a Diplomacy player is is how well he deals with poor players, not how well he deals with good ones.

WIN NUMBER (1) [MN:Jun95]
The percentage of finished games that finished in a win. Interesting questions include: Does the win number change with time, does the win number vary with the medium in which the game is played and does the win number depend upon the number of dropouts in a game? Concept introduced by Mark Nelson in _Everything_ 90 (October 1994). See also Dropout Number, Length Number and Q Rating.
WIN NUMBER (2) [MN:Jun95]
Some statistics!
GAME                      WIN NUMBER
NAPG Non-orphaned games*    48.07%
NAPG Orphaned games*        64.62%
COMPU Non-orphaned games*   46.6%
COMPU = Games played over Compuserve network.
NAPG = North American Postal Games
* Data from _Everything_ 85 (May 1992) through _Everything_ 1991 (March 1995).
WIN ONLY (1) [MB:Jun80]
A slight misnomer. A philosophy of play that values (or rates) only wins and draws, all other results being considered as losses. The Rulebook advocates this. This is the opposite of Strong Second. Sometimes known as Win Or Draw.
WIN OR DRAW (1) [MN:Apr93]
In _The Numbers Game_ 19 (1993) Richard Sharp presented an analysis of French openings used in British Postal games. The sample size was 1995 games. The CP Strike Rate was used as a measure of success. Richard wrote:

"France is - not surprisingly - the strongest country, with an average CP Score of about 0.17. The Maginot Opening, comfortably the most popular French opening, justifies that status by producing an average of 0.199, well above average. Of openings played 10 or more times, those that outscore the Maginot are a motley bunch: top is the unnamed (F(Bre)-MAO, A(Mar)H, A(Par)-Gas) with 0.233, good if it works as you can convoy Gas-Por and jump England in 1902. A modern favourite, the Vineyard also does well with 0.219. The Northern Dash seems to achieve its objective quite frequently (0.209), closely followed by the Belgian Gambit, representing a good overall score for the Bur and Pic brigade; the Belgian Gambit is the most successful opening of those so far played over 100 times. But the most interesting aspect of all this is the woeful inadequacy of the other two highly popular openings, which score below the French average: the Burgundy Opening does surprisingly badly with 0.132, while the third-ranked Picardy Opening is one of the most unsuccessful of all French openings, netting only 0.104. Two minority openings, (F(Bre)-MAO, A(Mar)H, A(Par)-Bur) and the Inverted Vineyard are so spectacularly unsuccessful that they actually rate below a Spring 1901 NMR!

I don't know what all this proves, except perhapes that those who favour the Maginot seem to be right to do so. I've never played it myself; I am slightly surprised to find, checking the records, that I have played the English Maginot three times out of four, with no success whatever, while my solitary French win was achieved with the intereesting aberration (F(Bre)-MAO, A(Mar)-Pie, A(Par)-Gas)! Hmmm. I must try the Maginot next time..."

In _The Numbers Game_ 18 (March 1993) Richard Sharp presented an analysis of Italian openings used in British postal games. The sample size was 1959 games. Using the CP Strike Rate as a measure of success he wrote: "The most successful opening have been (A(Rom)-Tus, F(Nap)-ION, A(Ven)-Pie)* and the Anti-Hedgehog Lepanto**, but the samples are very small; of the more popular starts, the Stab Lepanto and the Key Lepanto have been relatively successful. The Alpine Chicken has been the most unsuccessful of the really popular openings."
* 0.56%, 11 games out of 1959.
** 1.89%, 37 games out of 1959.
In _The Numbers Game_ 16 (May 1992) Richard Sharp presented an analysis of Turkish openings used in British postal games. Openings played 10 or more times, out of a sample size of 1913 games, were given a CP Strike Rate.
Opening                        CP Strike Rate       Number of Games (1)
Ship of the Desert                   15.69           17
Russian Attack                       14.64
Russian Defence                      14.02
Bosphorus Opening, Ankara Variation  12-13%
Houseboar Oppening, Constantinople Variation 12-13%
Russian Defence, Ankara Variation    9.85% < ?? < 12% (2)
Bosphorus Opening, Smyrna Variation  9.85%
Bosphorus Opening, Armenia Variation 8.60%
(1) Only listed for the more infrequent openings.
(2) Richard sais that it was less succesful than the 12-13% openings but more popular than the openngs below it.
WINTER 1901 BUILDS (1) [MN:Aug95]
There have been 20 or so British Postal games in which three countries failed to increase their sc count, but many of these involved Austria gaining one or two neutrals whilst losing one or two home supply centres. However in 1995BU Austria, Italy and Russia all failed to gain a center whilst retaining all their home centers. Data from _Dolchstoss_ 198 (June 1995).
WINTER 1901 BUILDS (2) [MN:Aug95]
In British Postal games Russia is the power most likely not to build in Winter 1901 (17%), closely followed by Austria (15%). Data from _Dolchstoss_ 198 (June 1995).
WINTER 1901 DISBANDS (1) [MN:Aug95]
In British postal games no Turkey has ever finished 1901 with a removal. England has only done so once, opening NWG, NTH, Edi then losing Lon and being stood off in Nor and Bel. Data from _Dolchstoss_ 198 (June 1995).
WINTER 1901 NEUTRALS (1) [MN:Aug95]
In 1995BU 7 centres were neutral after 1901; Turkey having stood Italy out of Greece and Russia out of Rumania. Austria, Italy and Russia all failed to either gain or lose a centre.
WITCH (1) [MB:Jun80]
England and Turkey. See Wicked Witch Theory.
WOMEN (1) [MB:Jun80]
The under-represented gender in Diplomacy. This is unfortunate, because one of the joys of postal Diplomacy is in meeting very different types of people, and thus loss of women reduces variability in the hobby. Estimates traditionally are 2%, though in the late 1970's this may have risen. While various theories for this have been presented, the most sensible is this: Diplomacy is an extremely competitive game, and women tend to be socialized to avoid such highly competitive environments. [Either that or they know something that we men don't... HR]

The first woman to play in a Postal Dip game was Dion Pelz, who finished second to her husband. Europa Express #12 (1982) was a special theme issue on "Women in Diplomacy". There were articles on women in Canada, Belgium/France, Great Britain and others. Also included was a tasty selection of original and reprinted stuff, including a "centerfold" listing of 31 women from the present and the past in the US Hobby, though many of them have only the most tenuous connection to the hobby. A splendid collection. See Beyerlein, Crayne, Kathy Caruso and Gemignani.

WOMEN (2) [JB:Sep95]
Women in Diplomacy who are basically spouses and stay involved at a low level are only interesting since women are a rarity in the hobby. My wife has zero interest, even though she will take Diplomacy orders over the phone. She is only dimly aware that I publish a szine and has never read one. In the US (gross generalization) the Nancy Frueh, Debi Peters type involvement is much more common in the Midwest (also Vince Lutterbie's wife Melody), while elsewhere in the country, if there is involvement, it tends to be more serious: Daf Langley, Cathy Ozog, Donna Higgins, Linda Courtemanche, and Sandy Styles come to mind. This probably means nothing.
WOODY (1) [MB:Mar82]
Nickname for Steve Arnawoodian.
WORLD DIP CON (1) [MN:Mar92]
See WDC.
A vehicle for feuding within the variant community. Defunct. See Variant Jargon (KW).
Dermot Gravey's computerized, alphabetical list of over 500 variants. With Gravey's exit from the Hobby, its fate is unknown. See Variant Jargon (KW).
WORLD WAR III (Reinsel) (1) [MB:Jun80]
Charles Reinsel's variant adding part of the Western hemisphere. Each player has both atomic weapons (which render their targets permanently impassable) and anti-missile weapons. Rules in Command 1. See Variant (KW).
WORLD WAR III (Rosenberg) (1) [MB:Jun80]
8 player game, using the concept of alignment and nuclear weapons. You can't nuke somebody that you are allied with. See Variant (KW).
WORLD WAR III (Sergeant) (1) [MB:Jun80]
A global variant for 19 players. A second version for 15 players was partially playtested at DipCon XII and is being played postally. See Variant (KW).
Larry Peery's idea, a postal team-tournament with seven teams from seven countries. Games to be run by Larry. Idea floated in Spring 1992.
The deliberate placing of the wrong letter (or part of a letter) in an envelope, to fool the recipient.
Poll ran by Tom Swider to find the most popular North American Zine. Rival to the Marco Poll and Runestone Poll. See Hobby Awards (KW).
Year Voters 1st                  2nd            3rd
1991 15     Comrades In Arms (*) Kathy's Korner D.O.G.S of War
(*) Pollster's zine.
YARS (1) [MN:Aug95]
Bruce Duewer's 'Yet Another Rating System' posted to RGD on July 3rd 1995.
(1) All player's start with an initial rating of 1.
(2) The game value (GV) is the sum of the player ratings'.
(3) Winners score points according to the formula
Points = (GV/players)*(players +1 -winning/drawing players)/(winning players) Thus a winner would get 7 points in a novice game. In a two-way draw the drawees score 3 points and one-point disappears.
(4) New rating = (1 + sum of points scored in all games). Main critisism is that system isn't zero sum. See Rating Systems (KW).
Used by Jim Yerkey at AvalonCon. Games last between 6 and 7 hours with only the GM knowing the end in advance.

Survivors get 1 point for each supply center held at the end of the game (if the game ends in the Spring turn, treat it as a Fall turn and count new acquisitions). Bonus points as follows:
Solo Win = +21 points
2-way draw = +10 points
3-way draw = + 5 points
4-way draw = + 3 points

Draws can be determined with 29 center vote. Thus a 6 center country, or a combination of countries totalling 6+ centers can block a draw, or force their inclusion. See also Rating Systems (KW).

There are two common English opening fleet combinations: the Northern Opening (F(Lon)-NTH, F(Edi)-NWG) and the Southern Opening (F(Lon)-ENC, F(Edi)-NTH). Each has a "Yorkshire variation" in which A(Lpl) is ordered to (surprise, surprise) Yorkshire, though in his book, "The Game of Diplomacy", Richard Sharp uses the phrase exclusively in reference to the move when used in conjunction with the Northern Opening. As such, it is the only move to guarantee England a build in 1901, since A(Yor) can guard London against a sneaky French assault through the Channel, and one fleet can support the other into Norway if Russia opens with A(Mos)-Stp, although F(NWG) SF(NTH)-Nwy is the only 100% method since either France or Germany could cut any support given from NTH. The opening vies in popularity with the "Churchill Opening", another version of the Northern Opening in which A(Lpl) is ordered to Edinburgh, from whence it can be convoyed onto the continent by either of the two fleets (most likely A(Edi)-Nwy or A(Edi)-Bel). See English Openings (KW)
A joke opening where all the English units are ordered to Yorkshire in Spring 1901! Devised by Denis Jones and used by him in a postal game! Strange character Denis. Needless to say, he didn't do too well in that game... See English Openings (KW)
A variant rule not permitting a unit annihilated or retreated off the board ever to be rebuilt for. Sometimes retreats are also banned. Makes for faster game.
One of the very first and probably the most influential of the early Diplomacy clubs. Its chief organizer was John Smythe, who taught Economics there. Formed in Christmas of 1963 by John Koning who was a student of John Smythe who became the faculty advisor.
A family of about a dozen variants, this has proved to be the most popular large variant in the US and often the only variant carried by a zine which otherwise carries only regular games. The original ten player game designed by John Koning, with help from other Youngstown U Dip Club members, was never printed although it was played FTF at the Youngstown U Dip Club. Rod Walker produced the first postal version (Youngstown II).

The added players are China, India and Japan. The game uses an expanded Europe plus Africa and Asia. Keeping things connected are off-board boxes and the ability of some European countries to build in remote ("colonial") parts of the world. Later versions added an African and American power. Game tends to produce static slugfests and large draws. See Variant (KW).

See Zine Directory.
A rating system proposed by Thaddeus Black.
win +360
2-way draw +150
3-way draw +80
4-way draw +45
5-way draw +24
6-way draw +10
7-way draw zero
loss -60

Note that the sum of the losers is equal to the sum of the winners: the sum of player scores in any game is zero. See Rating System (KW).

ZINE [PB/MN:1980/Sep93]
Pronounced 'zeen'. Contraction of 'Fanzine' originally, but now a word in its own right. (Fanzine was a word first coined by SF fans in the 1930s as a contraction of fan magazine, an amateur zine produced by a fan.) The borderline between Diplomacy zines, games zines, funzines, etc, are far more blurred than they were. In _Meinel's Encyclopedia of Postal Diplomacy Zines_ Jim Meinel states that only 15% of North American diplomacy fanzines have made it to 50 issues.
ZINE BANK (1) [MB:Jun80]
A British collection of samples of zines, sent in by publishers to custodians. Those who want samples send some money and perhaps some preferences. Established by Tim Roberts, now run by Alan Parr.
Mike Mills' publication giving details on nearly all North American dipzines. Includes a short publisher's statement and a listing of addresses for British dipzines. (These days known as the Zine Register -- MN:Dec92) See Zine Names (KW).
IDA's plan to publish a list of "acceptable" zines, rated on reproduction quality, error rate and frequency of delays. First director was to have been Ron Kelly. Met considerable hobby resistance and was never implemented.
ZINE NAMES (KW) (1) [MN:Dec93]
The following zines are reviewed in this document: ADAG, Albion, Backstabber, The Bluesmobile (*), Chapter Two (*), Chapter Eight (*), Compendium, Costaguana, Courier, Diplomacy Digest, Diplomacy Statistics (*), Diplomacy World, Electronic Protocol (*), Glossary of Terms, Graustark, Hoosier Archives, Internet Guide to Diplomacy (*), Meinel's Encyclopedia of Postal Diplomacy Zines, New Statsman, Rec.Games.Diplomacy.FAQ (*), St George And The Dragon, Supernova, Terminus, Valhalla, Vienna, VOICE OF DOOM, THE, Zine Directory and Zine Register.
(*) Indicates email zine.
ZINE NAMES (2) [MN:Dec95]
Cal White has suggested that the following zines be added: _Brutus Bulletin_ (John Michalski; first zine to make large-scale use of a photocopier), _G*A*S*S*E*D_ (David Truman; first computer-printed zine), _Liasons Dangereuse_ (first large-scale novice-game zine), _Paroxysm_ (Robert Correll/Doug Ronson/Harry Drews; first multi-editor zine) and _Saguenay_ (Conrad von Metzke, first ever zine for Canadians).
ZINE NAMES (3) [RW:Jun07]
As you've noted, early 'zines were mostly named for fictional countries. Originally this meant countries that would have existed about the time of the game. Prior to WWI, there appeared a number of novels set in tine fictional European kingdoms. These included about 3 Graustark novels by Stephen Barr McCutcheon and 5 or 5 Ruritania novels (including "Prisoner of Zenda") by Anthony Hope. Despite Hope's relatively greater contribution to the genre, these were generally known as "Graustarkan" novels (or romances). There were quite a few others set in tiny states -- I've actually managed to locate and buy most of them. The first 2 Dipzines were appropriately Boardman's Graustark and McDaniel's Ruritania. The 3rd was Boardman's Freedonia -- using a country from a Marx Bros. film -- a bit out of the time frame but not much. John's original plan, by the way, was to have a different 'zine for each new game. However, the multi-game 'zine soon appeared and he let everything ride in Graustark.
ZINE POLL (1) [MB/TNP/MN:Jun80/87/Dec95]
A Poll of Popularity for British zines started in 1974, originally called the Walkerdine Zine Poll. There were two Polls in 1974 but since then there has been one a year. It has been run by Richard Walkerdine (1974-1977), Mick Bullock (1978-1980), Richard Walkerdine (1981-1985), John Piggott (1986-1988) and Iain Bowen (1989-1993).

In the past often a forum for stirring up controversy in the hobby over such matters as which zines are eligible, whether you need to be a subber to vote for a zine, and what weighting scheme is best. The 1979 Poll even included a separate Poll on this last question.

For an editor, the highlight of the hobby calendar--all editors and subscribers are asked to vote on the zines they receive to establish the zine of the year.

Zine Poll winners have been: 1974(a) Ethil The Frog 1974(b) Dolchstoss; 1975: Dolchstoss; 1976: Chimaera; 1977: Chimaera; 1978: Dolchstoss; 1979: Greatest Hits; 1980: Greatest Hits; 1981: Greatest Hits; 1982: Ode; 1983: Greatest Hits; 1984: Hopscotch; 1985: Mad Policy; 1986: Home of the Brave; 1987: War and Peace; 1988: Realpolitik; 1989: Nertz; 1990: Electric Monk; 1991: Dolchstoss, 1992: Dolchstoss, 1993: Spring Offensive, 1994: Spring Offensive and Take That You Fiend and 1995: On The Game. [Note: _zine_ format not used.]
See Hobby Awards (KW).

The long running listing zine of North American Diplomacy zines which has had several editors over the years. Known in its early days as The Zine Directory. Editor Issues Comment Michael Mills 1-2 (March 1980--???) Known as The Zine Directory.

Just a listing of zines with their vital statistics and game openings. Mimeographed issues.
Roy Hendricks 3-4 (July 1983--???) Digest issues. Added some commentary to the listings.
Simon Billenness 5-8 (January 1986--???) Established TZR as a recognised worthwhile hobby service.
Ken Peel 9-14 (July 1987--???) Laser-printed on full-faced paper. Wide circulation. Finished 2nd in the 1988 Zine Poll.
Tom Nash 15-16, 18 (December 1989--???) Issue 17 was a fake.
Garret Schenck 19-21 (October 1990--???) Highly controversial editor.
Pete Gaughan 22+
See Zine Names (KW).

ZONE (1) [RE:89-90]
The Diplomacy board is often seen as divisible into a number of "zones", the most significant of which are the Eastern and Western zones. Thus England, France and Germany are "Western Powers", whilst Italy, Austria and Turkey are "Eastern" powers (though some people, myself included, often prefer to use "Northern" and "Southern" instead); Russia is seen as straddling the two. Tactics articles often emphasize the need for a player to dominate his own "zone" first, as a prelude to an endgame contest with the leading power in the other "zone"--though naturally other philosophies exist. A third important zone is the "Neutral Zone" of non-supply-centre provinces that runs from Livonia, through Prussia, Silesia, Bohemia and Tyrolia to Piedmont (and arguably on through the Mediterranean to North Africa). This is the zone that divides East from West, bracketing impassable Switzerland, and the need to cross it in the midgame is sometimes promoted as the single most important factor in winning. Another common use of the "zone" is in establishing a "demilitarized" zone ("DMZ") between two powers: a province or group of provinces into which neither will, if he keeps his promise, send a unit. Thus, Russia might write to Turkey offering to make the Black Sea and Armenia a "DMZ", and England and France frequently start the game with promises to keep the English Channel as one.
See The Zine Register.

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

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