Since 2005

Fun traditions and fierce competition In the Chicagoland Area

An online resource for Diplomacy Strategies

using Sum of Squares Scoring

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facts about us

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.

Weasels

Games Played

Solos

Times Turkey Opened to Armenia

An Evening of Ice and Fire

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.

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Get out of the box

What up Weasels? I wrote an article for Diplomacy World that I figured I'd pass around. Please note that at the time of writing, i was winning the league standings. Dammit, Brandon...

 

For the full mag, click here. 

 

 

Get Out of the Box: 10 Ways to Take Your Game to the Next Level

 

First, I should introduce myself. I’m Jake Trotta, a new member of the hobby and the Minister of Public Information (or “Speaky Weasel”) for the Windy City Weasels. Our club goals are to grow the hobby and develop championship caliber players. Both objectives require players to learn and develop their game, so I’d like to share a bit about my own development in the hopes that it may help other future players (and Weasels) with theirs. After winning my first tournament, I went through a very difficult 6-month plateau in the hobby. I wanted to get better and tried to improve at the 3 aspects of the game (negotiation, strategy, tactics). I was reading articles, playing gunboat games, getting a lot of games in. But the results weren’t matching my effort level. I lost the league lead, got slammed at WDC, wasn’t enjoying the game as much, and was certainly less fun to play with. After getting eliminated first in our club title game, the Weasel Royale, I asked another player on the board where I was going wrong. “You’re just not having fun anymore,” he told me. That moment made me realize something—a fourth (and perhaps most important) dimension to the game. Attitude. What mentality am I bringing to the board? How is that impacting my negotiation? Strategy? Tactics? If I don’t establish a defined, constructive relationship between myself and the board, it is, by necessity, going to be very difficult to establish constructive relationships with my boardmates. That realization changed the way I evaluate the board, my game, and myself, sparking a rapid period of growth. The following are a set of 10 insights that helped break me out of that mental box.

1) You are the only common thread on every board you’ll ever play

Let’s start with a blindingly obvious one. There’s so much that is out of your control in a Diplomacy game— openings alone have thousands of possible combinations—but the one thing you do control is yourself. Fortunately, you are also going to be involved in every board you’ll ever play. This means your focus should always be on you, developing yourself for future games. On every board, your primary objective should obviously be to win. But after that, your goal should be to LEARN—what may feel like defeat today is the bedrock of tomorrow’s victory.

2) It’s Always Your Fault

There is a danger when we do not share the same opinion as someone to blame them for our troubles. If they don’t do it my way, they must be wrong. But that is a cop out. Wishing someone else was better at Diplomacy will never make me better at Diplomacy. Diplomacy is a game of collaboration. In order to collaborate, we need to win others over to our way of thinking, or find a means to make their way of thinking work for us. Therefore, no matter which route we tried to take, the failure is our fault. So blame yourself! If you weren’t able to get on the same page with another player, evaluate your own responsibility in that after the game. You can always improve your negotiation, but you’ll never get the chance if you’re not willing to meet the other person where they are. Don’t reject their stance—move yours to take advantage of it.

3) But, don’t blame yourself if you don’t win, cause Dip ain’t fair and winning ain’t everything

Diplomacy does not always, or perhaps not even often, reward the player who performed best. You can’t force a victory in a Diplomacy board. Even solos involve someone else messing up. So in the majority of games, the rest of the board has to agree on who the victor is. Since it is impossible to control the result of the game, there will be times where you played better than anyone on the board and don’t top, and times you top when your play didn’t merit victory. Your objective is to play well enough to win and improve. Better to commend yourself for strong play that gave you a shot to win than to celebrate a win you didn’t really earn.

Hit the jump for 7 (7!) more ways to elevate your game

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You the (Spel)Man!

Gus Spelman, one of the many promising new recruits from Seasons 11 and 12, bagged his first board-top last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square. We suspect it won't be his last.

Game No. 347 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

THE WEEKLY WEASEL AIN'T DEAD YET

THE WEEKLY WEASEL AIN’T DEAD YET

Featured this week: terrible, terrible puns. Yes, they're worse than usual.

 

A ROARing Finish

Our last game of the Bar Room Brawl is this evening, meaning that this is your last chance to qualify for the BAR ROOM BRAWL TITLE BOUT (and a chance at winning your name on Cockerill’s Orb)! Swing by the Red Lion at 6:30 for the festivities.

 

A raging election

It’s that time of year, folks. Sneak elections occur at the Pyle. Any paid up members can vote, any paid up members can run. 3 spots are open, we have 1 incumbent and a couple other candidates who have indicated interest. If you are interested in running for the Sneak, send an email to Jake, your Chief of Public Information, by 8/16. Also reach out if you have any questions.

 

Newsflash: Jim O’Kelley does not suck at Diplomacy

It seems reports of the club founder’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Jim dropped a sizeable German board top at last week’s reunion bar game, where we welcomed back ex-pat Christian MacDonald. After spending the majority of the season outside the Top 7, Jim’s top has secured him a place in the Royale and continues his momentum since winning CODCON.  This development is particularly painful to hear because we here at the Weekly Weasel had a joke prepared for Pyle had Jim failed to make the top 7.

“Jim said he needed to take a step back this year for his marriage, and he did an excellent job at that, missing the Weasel Royale for the first time.”

We’ll be here all week, folks. For a recap and other jokes straight from the comedy cemetery, hit up the recap here.

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Always a Weasel

Over the years, two boards' worth of dedicated, active players have stabbed the club by leaving town. Some are now playing with other clubs, others show up on the tournament circuit now and again. None of them are former Weasels. No, we call them ex-pats, because our club will always be their home. 

Last night, we welcomed back Christian MacDonald, who now lives in Vancouver. MacDonald joined the Weasels late in our third season and quickly took the club by storm. In our fourth season, the first one that featured a league with running standings, he finished third. He also ran for and was elected to the charter Sneak that year, tied for second in games played, and won the first tournament he ever attended (the Buckeye Game Fest).

MacDonald is a good guy, a great player, and a visionary. While serving on the Sneak, he drafted a statement that still serves as an excellent guide for what the North American hobby could and should be. So when he moved away in 2011, it stung.

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Your dues-paying Weasels

Say hello to your dues-paying members for Season 12. It's not too late to join the list and gain eligibility for Season 12 awards, plus the right to vote in the upcoming Sneak election. You can pay your dues--$25, $10 for students--right here. Dues pay for the website, our Meetup site, the annual club and Royale awards, and more. We appreciate your support!

Den of Records

This article is the closest thing we have to a Hall of Fame, or a Den of Records, to keep with the Weasel theme.

Soloists
League Play:
Game No. 5, March 12, 2006: Marc Peters, Turkey
Game No. 8, August 12, 2006: Christian Kline, England
Game No. 15, January 6, 2007: Jim O'Kelley, England
Game No. 17, February 10, 2007: Eric Brown, Turkey
Game No. 77, October 25, 2009: Adam Berey, Russia
Game No. 99, May 22, 2010: Matt Sundstrom, Turkey
Game No. 112, October 30, 2010: Peter Yeargin, Russia
Game No. 143, July 3, 2011: John Gramila, England
Game No. 222, September 25, 2013: Nate Cockerill, England (The Mythical Bar Game Solo!)

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