The 12th edition of the Windy City Weasels' signature tournament, the Weasel Moot, will take place Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd.
Where to go
Weasel Moot XII will be held in Chicago, but the exact location is still to be confirmed.
How to Play
Introduction to Diplomacy Powers
Diplomacy is an extremely balanced game. In the hands of an experienced player, every power has a chance to top the board. However, some powers are more difficult for newer players than others. Learning about the strengths and weaknesses of each power can help you in your negotiations and decision making. Always remember that you should play the other players, not the other powers. Your interactions and negotiations with other players will have far more impact on your success than which power you or your neighbors are playing.
To an experienced player, which opening you choose can speak volumes about your intent in the opening portions of the game. Understanding which openings help achieve which goal, and perhaps more importantly, how the rest of the board is likely interpret the intent of your openings, are valuable skills to have. Always keep in mind that Diplomacy is not like chess. Negotiations and relationships are just as, if not more important than where you move your pieces. Your openings should always support your goals, not the other way around.
Alliances in Diplomacy tend to be fluid. Any group of committed players can make any alliance work. However, there are some alliances that occur more naturally than others. These alliances occur so frequently, they have often been named. Familiarizing yourself with the more common alliances and the vocabulary used to describe them can help you negotiate more effectively.
A stalemate line is a position on the board that prevents any further advance by the enemy. Stalemate lines are a pretty complex topic. Generally speaking, a newer player does not need to understand them in detail. What is important is that the new player know that these positions *do* exist, and that they become more meaningful the longer the game is played. In most Windy City Weasel bar games, there is not enough time for stalemate lines to become a meaningful part of the game. In house games, and particularly in tournament games, they become more meaningful because of the longer game length. If a veteran player starts talking to you about stalemate lines in the first few years of the game, be aware that they may be trying to use fancy vocabulary to influence your play to their advantage. If its been a few years, you might want to listen more closely, particularly if you are part of an alliance from one side of the board trying to hold back and alliance from the other side of the board. Here are a few resources where you can learn more about stalemate lines:
The Diplomacy rulebook provides one victory outcome, controlling 18 or more supply centers, or "soloing." Because Diplomacy is such a balanced game, a "solo" is extremely unlikely. As a result, the Diplomacy community has invented scoring systems designed to evaluate games where no one "solos" so that we can play the game competitively. Many systems have been used over the years, all of which have pros and cons. The Windy City Weasels use a scoring system called "Sum of Squares" which we feel encourages the behaviors we value most, balance of power, fluid alliances, and backstabbing. Other scoring systems are designed to encourage different behaviors, or to incentivise those same behaviors a different way. If you only play with the Weasels, you really only need to learn our scoring system. If you ever play online or travel to play with other clubs or at tournaments, you should be aware they may not score their games the same way. Generally speaking, every scoring system will reward you for capturing more supply centers than your opponents.
Here are some of the more common scoring systems in the hobby today:
Advanced Strategy & Tactics
Here are a few other resources that Weasel veterans recommend. Keep in mind that many of the articles on these sites are older and written with Draw Based or C-Diplo style scoring systems in mind. The majority of the content will still apply, but there may be a few subtle differences between what these authors suggest and what applies in Weasel league and tournament play:
The Windy City Weasels are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to experience the joys and agonies of Diplomacy. Diplomacy is a collective human endeavor. We may be competitive, manipulative, and even dastardly, but we are all here to have fun.
To that end, please observe the following:
Violations of the code of conduct should be reported as soon as possible to an official club representative, including the tournament director for tournaments, the host for house games, or the War Weasel or any other Sneak member. All communications will be strictly confidential. The club representative will mediate in good faith and take whatever action he or she deems appropriate to resolve the situation, including pausing a game, censuring players, or requiring players to leave the event without refund. The Sneak will review all reports of inappropriate behavior and take further action if needed, including suspension from future league or tournament play or expulsion from all club activities.
Any attempt to abuse the code of conduct in order to gain advantage in any game will not be tolerated. This code of conduct applies at any club event, on the board and off.
The CODCon Open, the event that put tournament Diplomacy back on Chicago's map, returns for a 12th installment, April 14-15 at the College of DuPage in west suburban Glen Ellyn. We will be using a central clock with drop dead timing and Swiss Pairings to seed our boards. If you want to be the best, you have to play the best!
Dues are essential to the Windy City Weasels' continued success. As a dues-paying member, you'll:
Not sure whether you've paid your dues? Check out the list of dues-paying Weasels here.
A Five-Minute Teaching Guide.
Players: there are 7 players in the game, one for each of the major powers in Europe in 1901:
Turns are divided: Spring and Fall with the game starting in Spring 1901.
Players discuss their plans for their pieces privately at the beginning of the Spring and Fall moves.
You are not bound by anything you say or do with another player.
Players secretly write down their orders for their pieces and then they are revealed and adjudicated simultaneously.
Abbreviations in order writing are listed on the conference map with S for Support and C for Convoy. When writing a support for a piece to move you have write where the target piece is moving to.
There is no discussion when players have to retreat or make adjustments to their positions.
The map is divided into different named spaces.
Spaces can be all water, all land or coastal.
Split Coasts exist in St. Petersburg, Bulgaria and Spain. A fleet in those spaces must be on one coast or another.
There are 34 supply centers on the map (stars/dots) scattered in 60+ named spaces.
To win you need 18 supply centers at the end of a Fall move.
Players start with 3 or 4 supply centers; these are your home centers in one of 7 Great Powers.
Two piece types are: Army and Fleet.
For every supply center you own at the end of the Fall you may have one piece on the board.
If you are short of pieces you build new ones in unoccupied home centers.
If you have more pieces than supply centers you must reduce your pieces to equal the number of supply centers.
Each piece has equal strength so it moves with a force of 1 plus 1 for each of its supports.
An Army may move or give support for another piece to move into or hold an adjacent land or coastal province.
A Fleet may move or give support for another piece to move into or hold an adjacent water or coastal province.
Only one piece may be in a space at any time.
You may move all or some of your pieces each turn.
Your piece may only do one thing in any turn:
to an adjacent space or be convoyed from a coastal province to a coastal province Fleets in split coasts may only move to adjacent coastal or water spaces.
to defend another adjacent piece in place if you could have moved there and it is not moving.
a specific piece to attack another space that your unit could move to; fleets in split coasts may only support moves into a space that they could have moved on.
if a fleet, you can assist in convoying an army.
(also called Stand) in place doing nothing.
A piece moves only one space at a time to an adjacent space unless you are an Army being convoyed.
No switching. Units ordered to each other's space do NOT switch positions unless one is being convoyed.
When giving support you are adding your force to the mover on, or the holder of, a space.
You may support other people’s pieces.
Bounce: if units of equal support try to move to an unoccupied space then they BOUNCE and no one gets in.
Supports are CUT by a piece moving on the supporter from other than the space that the support is directed at.
To force someone out of a space requires that you have greater force than the piece that is holding the space plus all of its supports to Hold. A move with one support and a hold with one support bounce.
Cut supports do not count for the determination of who has the most force.
A convoy is a move of an army in a coastal province to another by a fleet or a chain of fleets in adjacent water spaces
A fleet in a coastal province may not convoy.
You cannot dislodge or cut support of one of your own units. No ‘friendly fire.’
Units forced out of their space are dislodged and must retreat to an adjacent space.
You may not retreat to a space that was the site of a Bounce.
You may not retreat via a convoy.
If you cannot retreat or decide not to retreat, the piece is disbanded.
A piece that is dislodged has no effect on the space from which the mover came that dislodged it.
A convoying fleet that is dislodged disrupts the convoy and the convoy does not take place.
Oddities: Kiel and Constantinople have a single coast due to their waterways (Kiel Canal/Bosphorus). Denmark is a coastal province that connects with Sweden so armies can go between them but does not divide itself or the Swedish coast in two. As a coastal province you may not convoy through Denmark, Kiel or Constantinople.