Our Diplomacy league is the most active in North America. We average more than two league games per month in addition to Tournament play. We score all of our games using the Sum of Squares scoring system, and each player's best three scores count toward the season standings. We are known for our fierce competition, strong traditions, upstanding character and trustworthiness, and the propensity for Turkey to open to Armenia.
You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin'
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a'changin'
Now what's right is right but you ain't been right yet
In addition to being a catchy jingle, Nancy Sinatra's classic song is filled with great advice for Diplomacy players of all stripes. The song also comes to mind while reviewing the Spring 1901 moves from last Wednesday's game at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square. Specifically, these orders:
At the 11th hour* of the 11th day of the 11th month, seven Weasels gathered at club founder Jim O'Kelley's home in Little Italy to relitigate the rivalries that sparked a war that failed to end all wars. This latest effort, the club's 379th attempt to make sense of that tragic and futile conflict, started badly for Austria and England.
In the East, the Austrian (Jorge Zhang) stuffed an Italian (Pete McNamara) bid for Trieste, but the Turks (David Spanos) bounced him out of Serbia while the Russians (Christian Kline) marched into Galicia in the Fall. The Austrian position collapsed in 1902, as he lost centers to each of his tormentors, with Turkey picking up Serbia to boot. In fact, had in not been for a timely German (Jim O'Kelley) tap on Tyrolia that prevented Italy from capturing Vienna, Jorge would have been knocked out of the game.
Due to a family emergency, we're postponing the 2018 Weasel Royale Club Championship Game and Undercard to a Sunday to be determined in 2019. (Yes, we know that will present a naming challenge. But calendars are a social construct.) When the Royale happens, the players, in seed order, will be:
Game No. 378, played last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, nearly didn't happen. One player, en route from afar, dropped after seeing that we had a seventh without him. But that seventh had never played before and was intent on merely spectating. Meanwhile, reliable standby Christian Kline was stuck at work and uncertain of his status.
"Maybe 50 percent," he told me at 4:35.
Fortunately, he got out in time to salvage the game, which was another tight match.
Playing Austria, Kline jumped out to eight centers in 1902 but was knocked back to six the following year. Bryan Pravel in Turkey grabbed the lead at eight in 1904, the penultimate year, but Ali Adib in England and Mick Johnson in France were on his tail with seven, and Kline still had six. That set up a classic final year, with all four players scrambling for the top.
The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1905 turn in the following center counts:
"All decisions made involving 12-packs work out."--Chris Glassburn
The 12th installment of our Weasel Moot, played September 1-2 in the meeting room at 400 East Randolph, Prime Weasel Brian Shelden's condo building, was like a party pack from your favorite brewer. There was enough variety to please every taste, including one game that only ended after the players were serenaded into submission at a Karaoke bar.
When the fog machine cleared, Eric Grinnell, on the strength of monster board-tops in the first two rounds, including a near solo as Austria in Round 2, was holding the brass ring. Grinnell was playing in his seventh Chicago tournament, and the win was the first of his long and colorful career. All hail the Alpha Weasel mu!
Christian Kline walked into his first Weasels game--No. 3 way back in January 2006--like a gunslinger. Later that year, in August, the player known as The Scorpion soloed at the first Weasel Pyle to claim the very first Weasel of the Year title. (In its first installment, the Pyle was known as Weasel Moot; we wouldn't attach that name to our premier tournament until the following summer.)
In 12 seasons since then, Kline hasn't stopped shooting. But while he has finished on the podium in our tournaments, topped more than 23 percent of his league games, and won Best Country awards, a second major title eluded him. In fact, the drought dragged on for so long that some wondered whether The Scorpion was trying to fashion his Dip career into a more natural habitat.
And then Tuesday's Bar Room Brawl Championship Game at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square happened.
The drought is now over. Let it rain.
As the saying goes, change is inevitable; progress is optional. We're pleased to report that your Sneak just made a change that we believe represents progress.
For the first time since League Play was established in Season 4 (2008-09), we've changed the formula for calculating cumulative scores. Fret not! We'll continue to score games using the greatest of all scoring systems, the Sum of Squares. (We adopted that change in Season 6, 2010-11.) However, effective immediately, we will no longer count only your top three scores. For Season 13 (and hopefully beyond), #AllScoresMatter.
By a vote of 4-2 on November 8, the Sneak adopted the Make All Scores Matter Act (MIASMA), which established the following formula for calculating cumulative scores:
This article is the closest thing we have to a Hall of Fame, or a Den of Records, to keep with the Weasel theme.