"I don't get it," my wife said, peering over my shoulder. "Wouldn't they both apply?"
"I didn't raise my son to be a backstabber," I replied.
Turns out it didn't matter. It's in his nature.
Conversation with the Tsar, Spring 1906. My British armies are in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but I'm trailing board leader Don Glass, the Austrian, by two, and he has greater access to the three remaining Russian centers.
I've written almost all of our 205 game summaries, so I know what I'm talking about when I say that opportunites to work show tunes into these things are rare. For that reason, I was pulling hard for a board-topping performance by native Oklahoman Sam Bassett. Alas, the only thing swept down the plains in Game No. 205, played last night at Guthrie's Tavern in Wrigleyville, were the aspirations of Sam and his fellow Westerners.
The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:
We billed Game No. 204 as an opportunity to play your way into host and author Ted McClelland's next memoir. (Ted's fourth book, Nothing but Blue Skies, will hit the stands this spring.) Unfortunately for those seeking notoriety, they didn't leave Ted with anything worth writing about. By the time the game ended by draw vote in Spring 1908, he had been dead long enough to finish a fifth book.
The game was played at Ted's home in Rogers Park. The final center counts were:
This March, the Weasels will renew our six-year-old fight to restore the month to its orignal pastime. March once was known for the backstab, not basketball, and all month long, we'll celebrate the stab (probably while watching basketball in many cases) by playing Diplomacy in bars and homes all over the Chicago area. Take a look at the schedule, check your calendars, and sign up. And don't forget to beware.
Ex-pat Aash Anand, who recently moved to Denver for work, will be back in town on business, and he'd like to play some Dip with us. Let's welcome him back in the Weasels way: that is, with a warm handshake and a kick in the balls.
Last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, five of us--including one actual Don--gathered around the corner "Dons Table" to play the Windy City Weasels' new Ra sub-club's inaugural game. I'm pleased to report that I topped the board, earning 45 fame points in a win that was tainted somewhat by my poor explanation of the rules to novices Ben DiPaola, John Gramila and Mike Morrison and rusty vet Don Glass, all fellow charter members of the sub-club.
Meanwhile, across the room, seven other Weasels played our club's 203rd game of Diplomacy. Ho hum.
In our second or third season, Dan Burgess observed that he got his best results when he wasn't expecting to play. Ben DiPaola will second that.
On Friday, Mike Morrison announced that he had to bail on Game No. 202, scheduled for Saturday at John Gramila's home in Humboldt Park, due to a conflict. The first standby I called that night was DiPaola.
"If it could be filled by someone else, that would be good, but I can make it otherwise," he said reluctantly.
Brad Harrington is a novice no more. In Game No. 201, his fifth ever, all with the club, Harrington guided Austria to a massive board-top in a tough field. Played Sunday at Matt Sundstrom's home in Glenview, the game ended by draw vote in Spring 1911 in the following center counts:
In our first seven-plus years and 199 games of play, our club established a number of ironclad truisms. For example: