Season 6 isn't even cold, and already, we're looking ahead to next year. Season 7 league play will officially kick off the weekend of Sept. 24 at the Conception gaming convention at the College of Dupage. Tony Prokes will be our master of ceremonies for a fun weekend of Diplomacy.
The bleeding of players for this year's Weasel Pyle started on Wednesday, when Milwaukee Mafiaman Michael Bartlein bowed out due to logistical problems. By Friday, we were hemorrhaging.
Ryan Whalen dropped out due to illness. Eamon Driscoll had car problems. Newcomers Laura Kliman and Dave Koob made other plans.
And finally, we have the results from Game No. 188, which was played June 27 at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square. The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:
You can't blame Carlos Otero if his first impression was that Diplomacy was a piece of cake. He learned the game way back in September in our second game of the season, and he promptly topped the board.
Reality quickly set in, however. In his next five games, he was eliminated three times and managed a total of seven supply centers. But in Game No. 189 played yesterday at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove, the Venezuelan native who was naturalized in March once again had his cake and ate it, too. The game ended by draw vote in Spring 1907 with Otero's England topping at 10 centers. The final center counts were:
On a Tuesday night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, 15 players showed up to get in another game of Diplomacy before the season ends next month. Aaron Bernhardt graciously agreed to sit out to make 14.
The Queen in question is either Elizabeth or Nate Cockerill, our host for the evening. In either case, we're getting together for more Diplomacy at the Red Lion.
Tanned, rested and ready, Paul Pignotti returned to the table for the first time in nearly two years today at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove. The break served him well as he roared to an 11-center board top.
One supply center. A single, measly supply center. That's all that now separates Peter Lokken and Mike Morrison atop the Season Seven standings.
Morrison pulled off his third board top of the season today at Ted McClelland's home in Rogers Park to reclaim second place--which he had lost Thursday night--and close to within two points of front-runner Peter Lokken. But it was a small board top, by his standards.
The Sum of Squares scoring system is all about separation, and in this game, the margin between first and second was as thin as could be. Had he topped by two centers instead of one, Morrison would be in first place now. Instead, he must settle for second.
Game No. 184 ended by draw vote in Spring 1907 with Morrison's Germans at nine centers. The final center counts were:
"Why are the streets of Paris lined with trees?" asks the old joke. The punchline, "So the Germans can march in the shade."
Last night at Guthrie's Tavern, however, it was Jim O'Kelley's French armies who had the easy march. In 1901, the French strolled into Munich, and in 1903, they sauntered into Kiel while also taking Belgium and Holland by force.
Matt Sundstrom followed his victory at CODCon by topping Board No. 181, played May 12 at John Gramila's home in Logan Square. His 11-center Italy edged Ben DiPaola's Russia by a center, but more important, it vaulted him into seventh place in the Season Seven standings. If he holds onto that spot, he'll return to the Royale after a year off for another crack at the only Weasel title that has eluded him.