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(Grantland)   If you've ever heard of Diplomacy, chances are you know it as 'the game that ruins friendships': "For every 10 people who like playing board games, nine will not like Diplomacy. It is an intense and uncomfortable and unsettling game"   (grantland.com) divider line 107
    More: Obvious, Katt Williams, Settlers of Catan, game mechanics, toy stores, diplomacy, Prince George's, science fiction fan  
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3554 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 19 Jun 2014 at 2:22 PM (12 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-19 01:05:44 PM
it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.
 
2014-06-19 01:09:50 PM
I love Diplomacy, when played with good friends- the kind that can not only dish it out, but take it. You know you've got a good friend when you completely shank them in Diplomacy and they just shake their head, smile and say "yup, you got me", and you do the same when they do unto you.

You always know it's your turn on the auto-da-fe at some point.
 
2014-06-19 02:30:50 PM

ManateeGag: it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.


Monopoly long?
 
2014-06-19 02:30:59 PM

Cyclometh: I love Diplomacy, when played with good friends- the kind that can not only dish it out, but take it. You know you've got a good friend when you completely shank them in Diplomacy and they just shake their head, smile and say "yup, you got me", and you do the same when they do unto you.

You always know it's your turn on the auto-da-fe at some point.


Exactly.  Most people I know that didn't like Diplomacy was because they got stuck with shiatty countries like Austria or Italy.  

Just about every other starting point has real, feasible winning strategies.  But Austria and Italy, you're always at the mercy of your neighbors, so you have to strike a deal with someone fast and then make a hard run one direction or another.
 
2014-06-19 02:31:38 PM
It is a great game - that I have no desire to play.
 
2014-06-19 02:32:28 PM

lindalouwho: ManateeGag: it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.

Monopoly long?


Longer, usually.

We're talking a good 3 and up to 8 hours, depending on how skilled the other players are.
 
2014-06-19 02:33:02 PM
"Don't you realize that some of us traveled a very long distance to win this tournament?" a player from France said to me with disgust. "And because you won't stab2 this guy, you're going to die and bring all of us down with you."

"Are you going to be paid for writing this story?" a Scottish player asked me. "Because I am losing three days' wages to be here so that I can get screwed by you."


Not knowing anything about the game before reading this the only appropriate rely to those comments is, "That's on you." Don't invest that much of your life in a freakin board game, especially one that you can lose because of someone else's poor play
 
2014-06-19 02:33:55 PM

ManateeGag: it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.


A group of us played at work in a job long ago.  One move per day at the end of lunch.
 
2014-06-19 02:35:30 PM

Metastatic Capricorn: ManateeGag: it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.

A group of us played at work in a job long ago.  One move per day at the end of lunch.


Must have made for some tense lunchtimes.
 
2014-06-19 02:35:34 PM
It's a completely pointless game that can take days with no real resolution.  The only way to play this game is not to play at all.

There's too many other great board games out there right now.
 
2014-06-19 02:36:06 PM

Cyclometh: I love Diplomacy, when played with good friends- the kind that can not only dish it out, but take it. You know you've got a good friend when you completely shank them in Diplomacy and they just shake their head, smile and say "yup, you got me", and you do the same when they do unto you.

You always know it's your turn on the auto-da-fe at some point.


Auto-da-fe? What's an auto-da-fe?

/can't be obscure
 
2014-06-19 02:36:44 PM
This is one of the few games I've played where serious, gutwrenching treachery is not merely a possible winning strategy, but actually required to get anywhere in the game.  I used to play games like this weekly with friends back in high school, and this one in particular we only played a few times because the drama just got intolerable.  Diplomacy is quite simply "Machiavellian politics: the game".  And in terms of game mechanics, it's honestly a bit clunky.  Axis and Allies was the only game worse for overall mechanics.
 
2014-06-19 02:44:15 PM
No asthma inhaler ever ended up the cat's water dish over a game of Diplomacy. Risk, yes. Diplomacy, no.
 
2014-06-19 02:44:57 PM
Stay away from me with that bad mojo
 
2014-06-19 02:53:23 PM
Diplomacy? What year is this? Board games have come a long way in 50 years, and there are now many shorter and more strategically interesting games to play.
 
2014-06-19 02:53:45 PM
Gloom does the same thing but in about half an hour. So I prefer that when I want a good drunk shouting match with some friends.
 
2014-06-19 02:53:45 PM
Huh never heard of it.

I don't know how related this is, but the new total war has great new diplomacy options and they overhauled so on hard difficulties you have to depend on it just for survival. Let alone conquering
 
2014-06-19 02:53:55 PM

UnrepentantApostate: This is one of the few games I've played where serious, gutwrenching treachery is not merely a possible winning strategy, but actually required to get anywhere in the game.  I used to play games like this weekly with friends back in high school, and this one in particular we only played a few times because the drama just got intolerable.  Diplomacy is quite simply "Machiavellian politics: the game".  And in terms of game mechanics, it's honestly a bit clunky.  Axis and Allies was the only game worse for overall mechanics.


I liked Axis and Allies, but it does seem like it could have run smoother. The expansion pack helped. My friends and I would lose entire days to that game.
 
2014-06-19 02:54:46 PM

lindalouwho: ManateeGag: it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.

Monopoly long?


"Fark it this isn't any fun anymore lets call it a draw" - long

upload.wikimedia.org

Stick with this instead
 
2014-06-19 02:55:55 PM

Cyclometh: I love Diplomacy, when played with good friends- the kind that can not only dish it out, but take it. You know you've got a good friend when you completely shank them in Diplomacy and they just shake their head, smile and say "yup, you got me", and you do the same when they do unto you.

You always know it's your turn on the auto-da-fe at some point.


One of the men I consider a significant Mentor in my life an assistant scoutmaster with my troop, introduced the older boys (14+) to Diplomacy one glorious week at scout camp. (he Also was the one who chose the movie "Patton" to screen during our "leadership training weekend"  Damn I miss the guy, he died WAY too young)

Most of the evenings that week, and for nearly two years after that  a core groups of us played whenever we could.  I am a lawyer and a professional negotiator now, and by some estimations, a pretty good one.  I personally attribute any skill I have in that area to those hours convincing my fellow scouts to support the movement of my army from Picardy to Brest or to move theit navy from the Helgoland Bight
 
2014-06-19 02:56:54 PM
I thought Monopoly was the game that killed friendships and probably at least a few marriages.

/got in a fist fight over Risk one.
/punched the guy right in his Ukraine and yes it was weak.
 
2014-06-19 02:58:13 PM
Diplomacy is a great game. Play with a group of new friends. More than likely you'll end up with everyone hating the game (even the winner should by then be sick to his stomach and never want to play again), except for one guy who can't wait to play again. You've now identified the irredeemable asshole in your group of friends. Years of growing suspicion avoided with just one night of a board game.
 
2014-06-19 03:01:37 PM
If anyone wants a long, but a very strategically deep game, give Twilight Imperium a try.  There's lots of different ways to gain victory points, depending on which Strategy Cards end up in play, so every game can vary wildly.

But plan on the better part of a day to play it.

/yes, it's fun
 
2014-06-19 03:04:50 PM

Magorn: Most of the evenings that week, and for nearly two years after that a core groups of us played whenever we could. I am a lawyer and a professional negotiator now, and by some estimations, a pretty good one. I personally attribute any skill I have in that area to those hours convincing my fellow scouts to support the movement of my army from Picardy to Brest or to move theit navy from the Helgoland Bight


I remember every scouting event my buddy would unroll his Pente board and we would sit around for hours playing that damn game.  It's such a simple game I play it with my 3 year old.

For you unwashed heathens

img1.etsystatic.com
 
2014-06-19 03:05:20 PM

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: lindalouwho: ManateeGag: it's also kind of a shiatty game. way too long.

Monopoly long?

"Fark it this isn't any fun anymore lets call it a draw" - long

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x194]

Stick with this instead


The problem I had with Axis and Allies is that the Axis had to basically win the game in the first three or four turns otherwise once the US was able to get in the game, it was essentially over (which, I suppose, mirrored actual events).
The Germans would inevitably throw themselves at the Soviets and depending on how a few roles of the dice went, the rest of the war was basically a mop up. If they lost on the eastern front the combined weight of the UK and Russia would crush them while the US held off Japan in the Pacific. If they won, they team up with Japan and control Asia, squashing UK colonies along the way and eventually teaming up against the US. There was only really ever two ways to play.

Am I complaining about the game being too realistic? I guess...but it just became too formulaic after a while.

/have three older brothers
//always got stuck as the US
 
2014-06-19 03:05:44 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

Relationships have ended over this game.

/Poo on a stick.
 
2014-06-19 03:06:55 PM

oren0: Diplomacy? What year is this? Board games have come a long way in 50 years, and there are now many shorter and more strategically interesting games to play.


Diplomacy was never about strategy.
 
2014-06-19 03:08:30 PM

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: Magorn: Most of the evenings that week, and for nearly two years after that a core groups of us played whenever we could. I am a lawyer and a professional negotiator now, and by some estimations, a pretty good one. I personally attribute any skill I have in that area to those hours convincing my fellow scouts to support the movement of my army from Picardy to Brest or to move theit navy from the Helgoland Bight

I remember every scouting event my buddy would unroll his Pente board and we would sit around for hours playing that damn game.  It's such a simple game I play it with my 3 year old.

For you unwashed heathens


I think my uncle had that when I was a kid because I remember making a mess of his game closet and the glass pieces were everywhere.
 
2014-06-19 03:10:07 PM

kyuzokai: Cyclometh: I love Diplomacy, when played with good friends- the kind that can not only dish it out, but take it. You know you've got a good friend when you completely shank them in Diplomacy and they just shake their head, smile and say "yup, you got me", and you do the same when they do unto you.

You always know it's your turn on the auto-da-fe at some point.

Auto-da-fe? What's an auto-da-fe?

/can't be obscure


It's what you don't want to do but you do any way.
 
2014-06-19 03:10:47 PM

YodaBlues: [upload.wikimedia.org image 443x642]

Relationships have ended over this game.

/Poo on a stick.


Fark you, fark that, and that g-d damn level 0 potted plant that killed me.

/Yes, my friends are a$$holes.
 
2014-06-19 03:11:49 PM

odinsposse: Gloom does the same thing but in about half an hour. So I prefer that when I want a good drunk shouting match with some friends.


What?  There are no alliances in gloom, so there is no backstabbing.  There's just stabbing.
 
2014-06-19 03:13:24 PM

Cyclometh: oren0: Diplomacy? What year is this? Board games have come a long way in 50 years, and there are now many shorter and more strategically interesting games to play.

Diplomacy was never about strategy.


I'm actually about to take the plunge into Diplomacy.

I know the rule backwards and forwards but I'm really confused by a major point:

Why does ANYBODY ever help ANYBODY else?  You're pretty much start equally, and can defend the empty areas you take, right?  We all know that the only way anyone is going to win is if they convince someone to temporarily help them.  Why does anybody do that?
 
2014-06-19 03:15:21 PM
As an aside, I've always wondered at the people who talk about relationships and friendships ending over games. I've had people stop talking to me after I defeated them in chess.

If you break off a friendship with someone because of a game, that's just... I don't know. Pathetic? Weak? The sign of someone emotionally crippled? I don't know what to say to that kind of thing, but my gut reaction is always to roll my eyes and say "grow up".
 
2014-06-19 03:15:27 PM
Diplomacy no. Risk yes.
 
2014-06-19 03:18:04 PM

Esc7: Why does ANYBODY ever help ANYBODY else?  You're pretty much start equally, and can defend the empty areas you take, right?  We all know that the only way anyone is going to win is if they convince someone to temporarily help them.  Why does anybody do that?


You'll understand once you play a game, but the basic answer is that you can't actually do anything if you don't get someone to help. Without alliances, nobody can win and it's a stalemate. If you don't ally with someone, you'll be crushed by the ones who do.

The thing about Diplomacy is that it's not about the strategy- your next move strategically is always pretty obvious. It's about the negotiation, which is a much different proposition. And to win you really have to be a good ally- right up until you shank your ally. Because if you want to win or even get to a two-person split, you must do unto others.
 
2014-06-19 03:18:44 PM

squegeebooo: odinsposse: Gloom does the same thing but in about half an hour. So I prefer that when I want a good drunk shouting match with some friends.

What?  There are no alliances in gloom, so there is no backstabbing.  There's just stabbing.


Yeah, i was a bit confused here.
 
2014-06-19 03:20:44 PM

oren0: Diplomacy? What year is this? Board games have come a long way in 50 years, and there are now many shorter and more strategically interesting games to play.


Have you tried "Resistance". Very similar idea and way quicker.
 
2014-06-19 03:22:54 PM

UnrepentantApostate: This is one of the few games I've played where serious, gutwrenching treachery is not merely a possible winning strategy, but actually required to get anywhere in the game.  I used to play games like this weekly with friends back in high school, and this one in particular we only played a few times because the drama just got intolerable.  Diplomacy is quite simply "Machiavellian politics: the game".  And in terms of game mechanics, it's honestly a bit clunky.  Axis and Allies was the only game worse for overall mechanics.


The mechanics are what I love about the game.  They are dirt simple and there is NO random chance or luck involved, no lucky toss of the dice will save a careless player.  It's much more like playing Chess, and or attending a "getting to Yes" training seminar than playing a regular game
 
2014-06-19 03:23:06 PM

Esc7: Cyclometh: oren0: Diplomacy? What year is this? Board games have come a long way in 50 years, and there are now many shorter and more strategically interesting games to play.

Diplomacy was never about strategy.

I'm actually about to take the plunge into Diplomacy.

I know the rule backwards and forwards but I'm really confused by a major point:

Why does ANYBODY ever help ANYBODY else?  You're pretty much start equally, and can defend the empty areas you take, right?  We all know that the only way anyone is going to win is if they convince someone to temporarily help them.  Why does anybody do that?


At first, you (pretty much) start out equally.  But you soon hit a point in the game where all you're doing is trading territory, or you hit a stalemate where no one can progress.  That's when the alliances start to get forged.

"You support my move into Warsaw, I support your move into Venice" kinda thing.  All the while keeping it in your mind that you're going to get backstabbed at one point, unless you pull out your knife first.

But sure, during the first few years, usually up until the start of 1903, everyone kind of does their own thing.  Then, all of a sudden, everyone will look down at the board and say, "Oh, shiat.  I'm gonna need some help."

Unless you're playing with Italy or Austria, then you almost have to start a pact at the beginning of the game or you're pretty much screwed.
 
2014-06-19 03:24:06 PM
my older brother had this game and played against others via snail mail. games would take months if not longer to complete. I believe I have his old game in the back of a closet
 
2014-06-19 03:25:08 PM

BullBearMS: Diplomacy no. Risk yes.


I like Risk legacy more than plain Risk. I also never liked the escalating troop numbers for turning in cards. I always played you got a set number of troops, no matter what order you turned in cards.
 
2014-06-19 03:26:43 PM
Diplomacy sucks. More social engineering than tactics.

Axis & Allies quickly became predictable - everything tilts on the German eastern front.

Risk is dependent on starting position.

Settlers of Cataan is still good.

But sometimes it is just more fun to play Red Dragon Inn or Bang!.
 
2014-06-19 03:28:18 PM
Diplomacy isn't a game - it's an experiment.
 
2014-06-19 03:29:33 PM

YodaBlues: [upload.wikimedia.org image 443x642]

Relationships have ended over this game.

/Poo on a stick.


This game was so funny the first time I sat down and read all the cards. You must face the Gazebo alone!

Then we started playing and I realized how awful my "friends" actually are.
 
2014-06-19 03:29:52 PM

madgonad: Diplomacy sucks. More social engineering than tactics.

Axis & Allies quickly became predictable - everything tilts on the German eastern front.

Risk is dependent on starting position.

Settlers of Cataan is still good.

But sometimes it is just more fun to play Red Dragon Inn or Bang!.


This.   Bang! (With at least the bullet expansion) is a great game for intrigue, role guessing, etc.  And even in a 'long' game with 6-7 players, it's still at most 30-45 minutes.
 
2014-06-19 03:33:14 PM

Empty H: BullBearMS: Diplomacy no. Risk yes.

I like Risk legacy more than plain Risk. I also never liked the escalating troop numbers for turning in cards. I always played you got a set number of troops, no matter what order you turned in cards.


It's certainly less chaotic to play that way. When the number of armies is constantly going up strategy stops mattering as much, unless your strategy is to hold onto your cards until you are forced to turn them in.

Also, it was a happy day when the computer versions of the game came out that did all the army bookkeeping for you during battle. Making change for an X got old quick.
 
2014-06-19 03:33:24 PM
Austria isn't so bad, I've won with it. Of course I had an alliance with the dominating player who left his entire back end open to me.  I like diplomacy in small groups, but if you get too many people together, everyone starts to try and scheme too cleverly and the entire game grinds to a halt.
 
2014-06-19 03:39:29 PM

Raug the Dwarf: At first, you (pretty much) start out equally.  But you soon hit a point in the game where all you're doing is trading territory, or you hit a stalemate where no one can progress.  That's when the alliances start to get forged.

"You support my move into Warsaw, I support your move into Venice" kinda thing.  All the while keeping it in your mind that you're going to get backstabbed at one point, unless you pull out your knife first.


Maybe it says too much about me, but a scenario where the game grinds to halt and no one can win is better to me than helping another person inevitably betray me.

But it does make sense that it is an unstable system.  As soon as an alliance is formed the alliance has more power than all the other individuals.  Which incentivizes them to form an alliance, and so on.
 
2014-06-19 03:40:54 PM
If there are more than maybe 3 players the game design kind of breaks down and all the rules they didn't think all the way through turn the thing into 8 hours of fail.  Even with 3 players you still all actively have to go out of your way to make the game work, to make up for the poor design.

It's a mechanically shiatty game that tries to hide that the rules are poorly thought out by piling on layers of obfuscation.  No, thanks.  I'd rather have the smooth mechanics come from the game and the challenge from the other players than the other way around.
 
2014-06-19 03:44:05 PM

Empty H: BullBearMS: Diplomacy no. Risk yes.

I like Risk legacy more than plain Risk. I also never liked the escalating troop numbers for turning in cards. I always played you got a set number of troops, no matter what order you turned in cards.


Risk legacy's designer left Hasbro to make his own game called SeaFall.  Taking the ever-changing Legacy mechanics and divorcing it from Risk's decrepit system sounds fantastic.
 
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