The Wise Old Weasel's Five Factors
Factor 1: Explosiveness
DOES PREVENTING BIG SCORES MATTER?
In our last installment, we established that players that make Royale have some degree of explosiveness- an ability to have good (40+ point) or great (50+ point) games. While league winners and Royale participants are about equally likely to top, league winners are much more likely to have explosive games.
In football, the sport that inspired this series, there are two aspects to explosiveness: having it on offense and preventing it on defense. Both are critical and positive factors in achieving victory. This installment evaluates whether this is also true for diplomacy- does having an ability to stop big scores make you more likely to win the league?
The data says that Royale participants and League winners are better at preventing explosiveness. As we’ll discuss more later, figuring out the “why” behind that is a lot more difficult than it is on the “offensive side of the ball.”
NICE SETUP, JAKE. CAN YOU STOP TEASING THE RESULTS AND GET ON WITH IT?
Hey, cool it, bolded alter ego! I get metagaming makes you cranky. Just hit the jump and we’ll get into the practical data.
Hit the jump to see just the role of (explosiveness) defense in winning championships.
Since our founding in September 2005, and counting League, Exhibition, Premiere and Tournament games, we've played 659 games of Diplomacy on the standard map. Yet, on Saturday in Game No. 357 at Matt Sundstrom's home in Glenview, we saw something that we'd never seen before--France eliminated in 1902.
Jake Trotta, one of the most dominant players of the past two seasons, was the unfortunate frog. A look at the supply center chart, Spring 1901 tab, will confirm that he failed to heed sage advice regarding the play of France--mind Burgundy. And that with his arch-rival, Brandon Fogel, of all people in Germany.
Game No. 357 ended by draw vote in Spring 1908 in the following center counts:
Normally, you can set your clock by Chris Kelly's board-tops. Since joining the Weasels in Season 6, he's topped 14 league games, shared or outright. In nine of those games, he landed on eight or nine centers.
A crafty vet who started playing years ago with a group in Los Angeles, every now and then, he'll drop double-digits on you. Twice, he topped with 10. Two more times, he struck midnight. Normally, though, when he tops, it's with a modest eight or nine. You can plan on it.
But yesterday at Brian Shelden's home on the swanky New East Side, Old Clockwork stunned everyone by pealing 13 times.
To fleet… or not to fleet? That is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler on the land to plunder
The twists and turns of uncertain theatre
Or to bide time amidst a storm of others
And by waiting end them.
THE WISE OLD WEASEL: ENGLAND
Neville Chamberlain, shortly after deciding to convoy off the island after securing “peace in our time” with France.
He lost Liverpool the next year.
Some days you're the goat, and some days you're the goat lover. Unless you're Jake Langenfeld. In which case, you're always the Goat Lover.
Jake earned that nickname last season (it only takes one...), but last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, the moniker took on a whole new meaning. Jake drowned the bar in the plaintive bleats of his enemies while rolling to his second board-top with the club and first since Game No. 290 in January 2016.
Game No. 355 ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:
Season 13 got off to a late start Wednesday at the Red Lion, and a couple of players went to great lengths to make it happen. Literally.
Isaac Cumberledge traveled by train and el from distant Huntley just to play Dip with the Weasels. Recently relocated from Ohio, he learned about the club on webdiplomacy.net and braved the three-hour round-trip commute to join us for Red Wednesday. That's commitment.
Don't blame Brian Murdock for thinking Ike's a piker, though. He came all the way from Seattle! Known to WAC alumni simply as Murdock, he was tagging along with his wife for a conference in town and bumped into Jim O'Kelley while wandering around Lincoln Park Wednesday morning. The chance encounter led to an invitation to round out our first board of Season 13.
So, after three false starts, Season 13 finally opened with Game No. 354. It ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:
THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREVIEWS ROYALE
Celebrating our club’s most competitive annual tradition, the Weasel Royale Championship Game
This FINAL Weekly Weasel of the 2017 season will preview our second to final board. The next Weekly Weasel will be our 2018 preview, which will come out sometime before the next bar game.
WEASTATS Pre-stats: Your player overview featuring embarrassing photos, statistics, and super sexy radar charts
Pardon my French Method: A brief overview of our championship power selection
The 8th Place Prognostication: Our newest club honor where the Weasel who just missed the cut with provide our Royale Prediction. This year’s honorary Prognosticator: Bryan Pravel
But before we hear who will be our Bull Weasel, let’s meet the bullshitters contenders!
Season 12 was so massive that it couldn't be contained by a mere 12 months. The annual season-ending Weasel Pyle, our club's oldest and happiest tradition, spilled into Labor Day weekend this year, making the 2016-17 year the first to be book-ended by two Septembers.
That wasn't the only first for Season 12. For the first time, the event was held in the city at Founder Jim O'Kelley's home in Little Italy after a memorable 11-year run at Founding Weasel Eric Brown's Castle Brown in bucolic Wayne.
We also set a new record for players at 84 while tying our previous high for games played at 44. Meanwhile, we fell just short of our all-time high for new recruits of 49, set in Season 7. We introduced 47 players to Windy City Weasels Diplomacy this year. Some of them are quick studies who have already elbowed their way into the club's rising Young Guard.
But back to the Pyle, we had four boards on the day, with one being a late-starting second-chance game. A total of 24 players participated in the games. Three of them crashed the Royale party by capturing board-tops: Matt Sundstrom, Christian Kline, and Prime Weasel Brian Shelden. Members of the club's vaunted Old Guard, Sundstrom and Kline advanced to the Royale from the same board at last year's Pyle. This year, they did it from separate boards on different floors.
THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREPS FOR PYLE
Election email going out this evening, 3 days til college football, 4 days til we strike the regimental, 5 days til celebration of Labor. It’s a great week to be a Weasel.
COME NOW WEASELS…
Our club’s most revered tradition, the Weasel Pyle, is this Sunday at Casa O’Kelley. We have 22 24 players signed up, including a sizeable Old Guard Contingent. Come play Diplomacy -- the fun starts at 11, but if we have 6 willing players at 320ish, your writer will actually get to play in the late game. Awards to follow.
The mosquitoes were pretty bad last Friday night in the gardens of Lake Point Tower. The Weasels, though, were even worse.
Ray Trotta, the patriarch of the Diplomacy-playing Trotta clan, hosted two boards in the condo building's beautiful wooded space on August 18. Thirteen Weasels spent the evening strolling through the gardens while telling lies and stabbing backs. If you could tune out the bustle of Lake Shore Drive, it was easy to imagine that you were vying for the Iron Throne in the gardens of King's Landing or Pentos.
Speaking of, the two games were as different as ice and fire.