Season Eight opened Thursday night with two boards at Guthrie's Tavern. Thirteen players turned out for Opening Night, including four new Weasels and guest of honor Peter McNamara, the Australian national who was visiting from the Bay Area.
Nate Cockerill picked up right where he left off last season. The Season Seven leader with five board tops picked up another one in Game No. 195, edging McNamara 12 to 10. Chris Kelly, meanwhile, took the board top in Game No. 194, his second top with the Weasels in six games played.
Australian transplant Peter McNamara had so much fun playing Diplomacy with us at World Dip Con that he's coming back for more. Help us welcome him back with a game at Guthrie's Tavern.
Join us for the fourth annual Undercard game at the Weasel Royale club championship. The Undercard will take place in the basement at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove, scant steps from his draft beer system, or on his deck if the weather cooperates. It will count as a regular Season Eight league game.
Each of the past three years, the Undercard board-topper went on to qualify for the next year's Royale. Pete McNamara topped in 2009. While he was playing in the 2010 Royale, John Gramila topped the Undercard. Last year, Ben DiPaola continued the tradition, topping the Undercard while Gramila played in the Royale. DiPaola will be the sixth seed in this year's Royale.
We fought a lovely little war at the Red Lion last night. Our club's 166th game and 17th of the season ended by draw vote during the Fall 1905 turn with all seven players still on the board.
Jeremiah Peterson shocked us all by volunteering to play earlier in the day. Typically his arm needs twisting. He surprised us again by proposing a draw with his France topping the board at seven centers and sitting in or positioned to acquire three more. He figured that was as good as it was going to get for his France. Meanwhile, it appeared that winter was coming with Russia poised for expansion. The draw passed, so the game rolled back to the 1904 center counts, which were:
Last night at Emmett's Alehouse in Downers Grove, Todd "The Mailman" Woodman delivered his second board top ever. His Turkey gobbled everything in sight, finishing with 11 centers. Top Turkey honors are his for the time being. Apparently 11 is a magic number for Woodman: The game was his 11th league contest with the club.
Game No. 165 ended by draw vote in Spring 1906 in the following center counts.
Ring in the New Year with an evening of Dip & Drinks at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square. The game(s) will begin at 6:15 and end no later than 11. Help us start the calendar year strong by signing up today.
On Pearl Harbor Day, with Tora, Tora, Tora playing in the background, 12 of us gathered at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square to bomb the crap out of each other and, in some cases, ourselves. On Tuesday night, we had 15 for this Dip & Drinks event, but three dropped on the day of. The 12 fit sort of neatly into a big board for vets of varying seasoning and a small board for newish and rusty players, with Peter Lokken and me pulling double duty.
The big board played into Fall 1906 before calling the game at the 11 p.m. time limit. The center counts rolled back to 1905, which were:
Mike Morrison coined another opening today in Game No. 161, played at my place in Little Italy. This one was more of a new take on an old classic, the Austrian Hedgehog Opening. That's when Austria takes Serbia, arranges a bounce in Galicia, and tells Italy he's going to Venice. Mike's Sledgehog works the same way tactically, but much different diplomatically. The key is not to tell Russia about the move to Galicia or Italy about the one to Venice.
The Sledgehog worked great for Mike, as he bounced Russia in Galicia and snuck into Venice. Of course, he was aided by Italy's decision to open Rome to Naples instead of Apulia. That's probably the last time Ben DiPaola will do that. You can check out all the Spring 1901 moves and the final center counts here.