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Donner Party of Seven

“Don’t stand between a fat man and his burger,” Don Glass warned early last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square as he excused his way back to his seat. By game’s end, you could replace burger with supply centers, dispense with the warning, and you’d have a pretty good idea of how things went for Glass. He ate every player he could reach.
 
Game 169 ended by time limit after Fall 1907 in the following center counts:
 
Austria (Peter Yeargin): 10; 27.473 points.
England (Erik Bergquist): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Jeremiah Peterson): 2, 1.099 points.
Germany (Don Glass): 14; 53.846 points.
Italy (Christian Kline): 8; 17.582 points.
Russia (Nate Cockerill): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Peter Lokken): 0; 0.000 points.
 
The supply center chart is here.
 
Thom Comstock, one of the club’s most active players in our formative years, recruited Glass for the Weasels at Origins in 2008. The Des Plaines resident debuted with us at the 2009 CODCon Open and bagged Best Austria. In league play, things quickly went south for Glass.
 
In his first 16 games with the Weasels, Glass was eliminated five times and survived to a solo twice. He had a good seat on the sidelines for the finish of the 17-17 game in Season 5, but that’s as close as he came to a great game. Until last night. Perseverance paid off, and Glass now finds himself in seventh place and in possession of Best Germany. Kudos.
 
In the East, favorite son Peter Yeargin, in whose honor the game was held, was welcomed back in traditional Weasel fashion. That is, with pitch forks and torches. However, the reigning Weasel of the Year and Bull Weasel survived the opening onslaught and eventually emerged as the principal rival to Glass’ board top.
 
Cockerill in Russia had opened to Galicia, but Glass bounced him out of Sweden, and Nate chose to react to the British convoy to Norway by building a fleet on the North Coast. That was a poor choice for his only build. Glass made him pay, taking Warsaw in 1902 and Moscow and St. Pete in 1903.
 
To save himself, Cockerill turned on Lokken in Turkey, and the rift between those two gave Yeargin the opening he needed to wriggle out. He ceded Greece to Italy as he took Bulgaria and Rumania. But Christian Kline, the cagey vet who joined our club way back in Game No. 3, helped himself to Trieste, as well, to grow to six while Yeargin stayed even at five.
 
Kline promptly plopped down two fleets, which had us all scratching our heads. When he pushed west against France and moved north with Austria against Germany, the truth became clear. Kline’s price for alliance with Austria had been Greece and Trieste.
 
I’ve played many games with Kline, but he surprised me again a couple of years later when he forsook a guessing game over Marseilles and Spain to force North Africa instead. I didn’t expect the typically bold Kline to maximize his minimum gain. Watching him play last night reminded me of an old line from the wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper: “Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions.”
 
Jeremiah Peterson in France, meanwhile, was his usual patient, ruthless self. He opened Paris to Gascony, misordered his fleet to the Western Med, and then punched into the Irish Sea and convoyed to Liverpool. His attack bogged down there, however. He didn’t gain his seventh center until 1905, when he was unable to build. By that time, the Italians were bearing down on him. In 1906, he lost four centers.
 
The Italian attack did not come early enough to save newcomer Erik Bergquist in England, our third recruit from playdiplomacy.com in as many months. Bergquist is a writer who recently relocated to Naperville from Southern California. He counts The Fast and the Furious among his credits.
 
Bergquist drove down to the Red Lion to introduce himself, and I gave him my seat, which freed me to drink alone and Tweet about the game. You can check out the log here. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow us at @WindyCityWeasel.
 
Okay, that’s enough from me. Let’s hear from the actual combatants. And how about signing up for a game or two of your own! March Madness is nearly upon us, and CODCon is right around the corner. Don Glass has developed a big appetite. You may want to shake off the rust before you meet him.

Join the discussion!

Find out more about an upcoming event or article, talk smack before a game, brag about your board top, or most likely, ask what on earth your fellow Weasels were thinking!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Erik Bergquist

    Erik here, I had an outstanding time last night, thank you to Jim for letting me sit in. I enjoyed meeting everyone, great fellowship and enjoyment of the game. Looking forward to the next meet up I can attend.

  2. Peter Yeargin

    I must say, I really could feel the love last night as everyone welcomed me back with open arms…and pitch forks. I would expect nothing less from my Diplomacy home! It was funny – I walked up to Jeremiah towards the end of Spring 1901 and the conversation went something like this:

    Jeremiah – “So what are you hearing? Any plans yet?”
    Me – “Well, Italy wants to attack Turkey, Russia wants to play neutral and Turkey wants to attack Russia. Sooooo, they’re all attacking me.”
    Jeremiah – “haha, good luck”

    And of course, Russia violated our Gal DMZ, Italy took a pot shot at Trieste and Turkey opened standard but picked up Black as Russia chose to hold Sev.

    My first conversation was with Russia and he assured me Gal would be working on Rumania and I had nothing to fear. After that, I walked up to Christian in Italy and all he could do was laugh at me and say “I had to take a shot”. I said, shot taken, maybe let’s do something else. If I have to defend myself, I’m defending against you, you know, right?

    Looking at my position in Fall 1901, there were a number of random guesses I could take. I could try self bouncing in Bud, I could try the self bounce in Trieste. I could send Serbia to Bud and Vie to Tri, hoping for bounces in both.

    What to do…what to do…

    I decided Christian was untrustworthy and would take another shot at Tri. I also assumed Turkey was sending Bul-Gre, despite my offering him two supports into Rum in Spring 1902 in exchange for leaving me alone and freeing up Serbia.

    Unwanted supports were also my fear in Bud and Tri, causing me to lose Serbia and possibly give it to Turkey.

    At the end of the day, I decided standard moves gave me a guaranteed four worst case and went with those:

    Vie-Tri
    Alb-Gre
    Ser S Alb-Gre

    Who knew? Two builds and I’m alive. Nate only builds one and plops down F STPnc, despite a 3 build Germany on the board. As expected, Germany sent two towards War in Spring 1902. Christian and I kept bickering and bantering for 1902, but Nate and Peter Lokken couldn’t put anything together either.

    By 1903, Nate was in serious trouble as Germany owned War and was picking up Mos.

    I had a good shot to grab Bulgaria and offered Christian Greece if he couldn’t pick up a build elsewhere. I did manage to pick up Bul and had a good lock on Rumania as long as Russia grabbed his dot in Ankara (which he did).

    Christian approached me late in the negotiations for Fall 1903 and said, hey, how many armies you have? I told him I had 4 with a 5th coming from a build. He said he needed to put down two fleets. I was already giving him Greece and he wanted Trieste also. I told him to send one at Trieste and I would decide at the end of I could give it to him.

    Looking at the board, he was right. Jeremiah was seriously committed to the North and Christian would get the jump on him with those fleet builds. I decided to vacate Trieste. Of course, Christian sends two at it instead of one and then spent about 5 min deciding what to build. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, umm, two fleets, right?

    Luckily he did eventually throw them down. I think this was the key moment of the game and turned it into a tactical exercise from that point on.

    Don continued to gobble up dots like they were going out of style. Meanwhile, Jeremiah decided to start vomiting dots to Germany the last 2 game years and I couldn’t catch up to Don before time was ultimately called.

    Great game, all!

  3. Peter Lokken

    [quote]and then spent about 5 min deciding what to build. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, umm, two fleets, right?[/quote]

    Haha, i do remember you publicly stating “Theres only one [i]right [/i] build for Italy.” At first I thought it was merely an indifferent tactical truism you were declaring, not a nervous prod and reminder. I would have imagined that A-Ven would have been one of those two builds, and was surprised when i saw the two fleets.

  4. Jeremiah Peterson

    This game was a lot of fun. (Yes, I just called a diplomacy game fun… I’ll let that sink in for a bit.)

    As France, my immediate neighbors were the evil Christian Kline to my east in Italy, the affable Don Glass to my east in Germany, and an unknown quantity in Erik to my north in England. Don and I have worked well in the past together, and Erik appeared to be agreeable, so we outlined the sketches of your standard boring Western Triple and set about our Spring 1901 moves, which for yours truly was:

    BRE-MAO
    MAR-SPA
    PAR-GAS

    This neatly removed myself from any conversation about the fate of Belgium, which I deduced would probably go to Don (and after Germany and England talked it over, it did.) Meanwhile Erik in England began the first of a handful of misorders brought about by having to write orders down on paper instead of clicking units online; this is understandable, as getting back into the FTF game takes some getting used to.

    Correctly surmising that the evil Christian Kline (who was cheerfully welcoming Peter Yeargin back to the city with thrusts toward Trieste) was the largest threat parameter on my borders, I moved to secure both Iberian neutrals with my armies and swing my fleet into the Western Med, thus pouncing on a weakened evil Christian Kline while his back was turned.

    Except that instead of ordering MAO-WMED, I wrote BRE-WMED, where my fleet no longer was; my fleet sat put in MAO; and at this point I apparently won some sort of Oscar Award for covering my surprise and dismay, causing everyone around the table to think I had misordered on purpose. I blame the tasty bacon cheeseburger I was eating for this feat.

    Adjustments, 1901: Erik in England, who bunged up an order during this phase too, built a fleet in London after convoying his army to Norway (thus presenting Liverpool to me on a platter), Don Glass had six units on the table, and Nate Cockerill in Russia, beset by his southern neighbors… built F STP/NC. Well allrighty then. Yours truly built F Brest. Yes, I had decided to be That Guy Who Stabs The New Guy Who Hasn’t Played FTF Diplomacy in Years, Perhaps Decades, And Who Is Struggling With Order Agreement. I did feel a little guilty about this.

    I felt less guilty and more pleased with myself as I sailed merrily to the Irish Sea in Spring 1902, convoyed an army to LVP in Fall 1902 (to a swelling dramatic musical score), and had my foot on England’s throat. Unfortunately for yours truly, instead of squeezing the life out of England with slow and unsexy yet unstoppable moves, I fell prey to being cute about it, got stonewalled trying to convoy a second army to England for no particular reason other than to trade a sure thing for expediency, and my attack bogged down at 7SCs.

    At this point, over on the other side of the board, brief unholy flashes of Nate “When are you turning on Germany?” Cockerill and Peter “You weren’t REALLY using that dot” Lokken working together as an R/T soon reverted, under AIG pressure, to the comfortable state of them turning on each other. Soon the evil Christian Kline had two shiny new fleets in the Med and was actively working with England’s remnants (the quality and cohesion of English orders at this point increased dramatically.) With myself out of position and with an antagonist in the backfield, it was only a matter of time before Italy grew large and I grew small. C’est la vie.

    Speaking of time, Don Glass was having a grand time of it consuming all and sundry in his path, including all of Scandanavia and healthy portions of Russia before bogging down against AI. Don and I have been good allies in the past, he had faithfully done everything I had asked of him this game, and being a good ally myself that doesn’t really care about silly things like “scores” and “sums of squares” I was happy to ensure his performance was punctuated properly. Yeargin can call it “vomiting dots,” but I think it’s rather more a case of this actor not learning the lines he’d like to hear.

    Lastly, I’m happy to say: Diplomacy may not be the first or tenth game I will play, but I enjoy Red Lion games. Everything about it just works.

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