Jim O'Kelley

Jim O'Kelley

Monday, 06 April 2015 21:47

A tale of two Lokkens

For Jeff Lokken, in town from Buffalo to visit his brother, Game No. 268, played Saturday at Peter's home in Logan Square, was the best of times. But for brother Peter, it was the worst of times. Jeff's France finished second with eight centers, while Peter in Germany was eliminated in 1904. Nevertheless, a bad game of Diplomacy is still a pretty good time.

"We all had fun," Peter said afterward. "It didn't go well for me, though. I blame alcohol."

Thursday, 02 April 2015 10:25

Nathaniel and the Fat Lady

If opera singer and new Weasel Nathaniel Olson had brought a fat lady with him to last night's game at the Red Lion, she would have belted her tune in 1904. That's when Olson's Germany jumped from eight to 11 centers to take control of the game.

Fellow newcomer Korey Enright, our latest playdiplomacy.com recruit, gave Olson a run for his money over the final two game years as Italy but ultimately fell short. David Spanos, the third newcomer on this night, had a tougher go of it in England, finishing with two centers...which were two more than vets Mike Morrison and John Gramila managed to muster

The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

Thursday, 12 March 2015 14:27

Ali and the Red Wednesday Miracle

After a down year for recruiting in Season 9 in which only 21 first-time Weasels played with us, we redoubled our recruitment efforts this season. Our work is paying off.

Last night at the Red Lion, two more first-time Weasels played with us, running our total for the year to 24 in just 15 games. But they weren't the only newcomers. Four of the other five players joined our ranks this season. (The fifth played with us way back in Game No. 5 nine years ago but has come out only three times since then.) Game No. 266 was the first board we fielded since October, and only the second of the year, without either me or Matt Sundstrom on it. When we can fill boards without tapping hard-core regulars, that's good news for the club. 

Saturday, 07 March 2015 22:46

In like a rusty Flynn

Nelson Flynn's road back to the Diplomacy hobby has been a rocky one. It started last year when he stumbled upon the infamous Grantland article. That read rekindled fond memories from the 1970s of playing the game at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey and then at Field Station Berlin.

"We used to love talking about the game in Berlin," Flynn says. "'I'm moving an army to Ruhr.' We knew the Russians and the East Germans were listening."

A few years later, while studying law at Northwestern in Chicago, he dabbled in the postal hobby. But then came a career as a bond lawyer in Wisconsin, and the Dip hobby was largely forgotten...until the Grantland article.

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 19:58

Dead Man growing

This game report from last month's Red Wednesday at the Red Lion is long overdue, so for my title, I've chosen a minor detail that I found interesting. Only six players showed up on February 11 for our club's 264th game, so for only the third time in club history, we played with fewer than the standard seven. And for the first time, we used the Italian Roulette variant to deal with that problem.

For those who aren't familiar with the method, Italian Roulette is when each of the six other players submits orders for Italy and one set is drawn at random. So each player's Italian set becomes another point of negotiation.

Thursday, 15 January 2015 21:37

Keep calm and top the board

Last night's game at the Red Lion featured four newcomers, and one of them, late-arriving British national Edwin Kite, topped the board. Where do you go from there?

Game No. 263 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:

 

Saturday, 03 January 2015 12:58

That's what Brown can do for you

On a board bristling with three of this year's Royale contestants, including the Bull Weasel; a former Bull Weasel; and one of the club's rising young guns, cagey vet and Founding Weasel Eric Brown showed what he can do for you, and to you, when he decides to play.

The Weasels rang in the New Year with Game No. 262, played yesterday at Matt Sundstrom's home in Glenview. It was the second game Matt hosted this season, and like the other, it went 11 years. This one ended by draw vote in Spring 1912 in the following center counts:
Monday, 29 December 2014 16:38

Black Jack Sundstrom, Scourge of the Steppes

It's official: When it comes to apples, they don't fall far from the tree. And when the tree is a scourge, that portends calamity for the club.

Black Jack Sundstrom, Bull Weasel Matt's son, posted his second board top of the season in just two games, and this one was a doozy. His 13-center Germany nets him more than 61 points and sole possession of first place in the standings. Game No. 261, played Friday at Pete McNamara's home in Evanston, ended after the Fall 1908 turn in the following center counts:

 

Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:42

Thirteen stabbers stabbing

Our true love was kind to us last night at the Red Lion. She gave us two walk-ups, running the count to 13 players, enough for our first two-board session since Opening Night. Now our allies, on the other hand, holiday season or not, they were being bitches.

Sunday, 30 November 2014 10:48

Black Jack Friday

Bull Weasel Matt Sundstrom hosted a Black Friday game of Diplomacy at his home in Glenview on Friday. And on that day, the 2014 club champion took a backseat to his son Jack.

The game ended by draw vote in Spring 1912 in the following center counts:

 

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