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Monograph

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Being Diplomatic

I spent this Saturday playing Diplomacy, one of the best boardgames ever created. As usual we didn't quite get to the end (we only played for eight or nine hours) but we did at least get to the stage where the results were becoming clear.

Turkey won, capitalising on a Russian collapse and Austrian Indecisiveness. The Franco-Anglo-Germanic coalition I held together for almost the whole game looked like it would give me (France) a win at one stage, but couldn't quite stand up to the Turkish threat. Italy collapsed almost as fast as Russia.

What I like about Diplomacy is the paradox at it's heart. You can only win with the support of other players, but everyone wants to win. For most people the result is a game of backstabbing and betrayal, but I've always preferred to think of those as the things that happen when the really important parts go wrong. Diplomacy is a game of co-operation and trust - and it's a great way to put your social skills to the test.

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