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Hood in the hood

Hobby legend David Hood paid us a visit and treated us to an usual Austrian opening, after which he got a true Weasel welcome.
Game #397, played on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at Red Lion in Chicago, ended in a seven-way draw in 1904. This game is part of WCW League 15 (2020) and WCW Bar Room Brawl 8 (2020).
Austria(David Hood)2 centers1.639 points
England(Christian Kline)5 centers10.246 points
France(Chris Kelly)6 centers14.754 points
Germany(Cori Neslund)5 centers10.246 points
Italy(Brandon Fogel)12 centers59.016 points
Russia(Mike Morrison)1 centers0.410 points
Turkey(Adam Baker)3 centers3.689 points
1901 1902 1903 1904 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17

Newly appointed Speaky Weasel, Mike Morrison, was on the scene with the following eyewitness report:

Here’s the cast of characters along with their ending center count (game ended Spring 1905 by chicken-vote), and opening choice, as named by the The Library of Diplomacy Openings at the Diplomatic Pouch (links available via google, or if you buy me a drink).

Note that Bryan Pravel served as aide-de-camp for our newest weasel, Adam Baker.

David Hood – Austria – 2

AUS VIE-GAL, BUD s VIE-GAL, TRI-ALB

Opening unnamed, and no info on it.

Surprising, I would have thought this would have a name, I believe I’ve seen Nate Cockerill and David Hood play it now, at least, but probably others as well. Let’s dub it, the Cockeril-Hood Suicide Squad, CHSS for short.

If you send Tri to Ven, it becomes a Hedgehog, Porcupine Variation as decided by Richard Sharp in the Middle Ages of Diplomacy when all the good names were taken.

Christian Kline – England – 5

LON-NTH, EDI-NWG, LVP-EDI

Northern opening, Churchill variant

Chris Kelly – France – 6

PAR/MAR-BUR, PAR/MAR-GAS, BRE-MID

Vineyard, or Vineyard Maginot

Cori Neslund – Germany – 5

MUN-RUH, BER-KIE, KIE-DEN

Blitzkrieg opening, Danish variant

Brandon Fogel – Italy – 12

VEN-TRI, ROM-APU, NAP-ION

Lepanto, Key variation

Mike Morrison – Russia – 1

WAR-GAL, MOS-UKR, SEV-BLA, STP-GOB

Ukraine system, Southern Defence

(Had planned on sending Moscow north, for a Northern System, Octopus variant, but chickened out at the last moment. Maybe Austria’s move was predicated on the belief I’d move Moscow north?)

Adam Baker – Turkey – 3

CON-BUL, ANK-CON, SMY-ARM

Turkish Hedgehog

(We had some thought of doing a Black Sea exchange from this point, but changed the plan based on the Austrian move… perhaps correctly? I don’t know.)

Your humble narrator racked up a survival as Russia without ever taking a single dot. That has to be worth something.

(Very little as it turns out, in the old sum-of-squares scoring system, which this game was played under. Apparently they’re trying to rectify the matter in some new scoring system, I forget what it’s called, the War Weasel has all the details. The Sneak, the governing body of the Weasels, which yours truly Shanghai-ed himself onto at the last Pyle, voted in a recent shock decision to adopt a new scoring system, details forthcoming. To my recollection, the new scoring system intends to increase the value of survival, while retaining incentive to board-top. Personally, I think the best scoring system always has been, and always will be decided by a roll of the dice at the end of the game. However, I have nothing against dice-athiests.)

At least I found a stalwart ally in the new player in Turkey, ADAM BAKER. He was interested from the beginning in working together, and it was only the fierce resolve of our guest-weasel, DAVID HOOD, in Austria to throw all his dots to Italy that stymied us. David failed in his quest though, and held on to two dots in the end, but I think his argument to his ally in Italy, BRANDON FOGEL, was that they were Russian home centers, and shouldn’t be counted against him. Well, who could blame that logic?

The spring ’01 moves were telling: Austria supported Vienna to Galicia (after negotiating a bounce with me, maybe he heard about the hissy-fit I threw one year after someone did that to me in Burgandy and he wanted to see some fireworks. We do aim to entertain guest weasels, but come on!)

England, CHRISTIAN KLINE, opened to the far north with an army from Liverpool to Edinburgh. I don’t know what the kids are calling that these days, but it used to be called a Churchill. It’s fairly aggressively anti-Russian when played by any other player, but in the hands of Christian Kline, I could only say, well that’s nice he’s not trying to put the knife in my back but rather my front. How refreshing!

Germany, CORI NESLUND, appeared somewhat anti-Russian in the Fall of 1901, bouncing yours truly out of Sweden. Perhaps she did not want to see what dance the Russians would come up with if they got their hands on some lederhosen. Although we made attempts to rectify the situation thereafter, the crafty negotiations of England kept us from working together, I assume.

There was some see-sawing in the North and while France (CHRIS KELLY) was able to grab London, while England swept Scandinavia, Italy blew up too quickly for the E/F/G triangle to resolve itself.

The final board shows France moving to defend from Italian break out from the Med, Turkey having kicked Italy out of Con. A rush to the stalemate line by both sides would probably have ensued, if all had not felt pacified by seeing the Russian empire reduced to rubble.

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