In our first seven-plus years and 199 games of play, our club established a number of ironclad truisms. For example:
- Never be the last player to stab Paul Pignotti.
- Kevin O’Kelly is a loose cannon.
- If Greg Duenow sends you a link, don’t click it.
- Nate Cockerill doesn’t roll to board tops, he oozes to them.
- When playing with Ted McClelland, keep your friends close and your drink covered.
- If Christian Kline is on your board, cancel your dinner plans.
- Never get involved in a land war in Asia or a drinking contest with Eric Brown.
- On John Gramila time, our club has logged only 5 1/2 years and 125 games.
- The only thing Dan Burgess loves more than hosting is the Western Triple.
- Never stand between Don Glass and his burger.
- If you’re ovulating, don’t play on a board with Nick Rohn or Chris Davis.
- Diplomacy’s magic numbers are seven, the number of players it takes to fill a board; 18, the number of centers it takes to win; and 40, the number of ounces it takes to incapacitate Peter Lokken.
- If you can’t identify the shark on your board, it’s Pete McNamara.
- Given a choice of four standard openings, Mike Morrison will always pick the one not listed.
- Sooner or later, Amanda Baumgartner will nut you.
- Good Tony Prokes is trapped in an alternate universe.
- And Matt Sundstrom and Jim O’Kelley will never work together.
But like a hundred-year event, every 200 games or so, one of those truisms proves false. Such was the case with the last one last night in our 200th game at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square.
O’Kelley and Sundstrom shocked the Diplomacy world and themselves not only by working together in an actual offensive alliance but also by ignoring numerous stab opportunities. Sundstrom set the pace and earned the board top in a game that ended by time limit after Fall 1906 in the following center counts:
Austria (Jim O’Kelley): 8; 23.529 points.
England (Nate Cockerill): 6; 13.235 points.
France (Laura Kliman): 7; 18.015 points.
Germany (Mike Morrison): 1; 0.368 points.
Italy (Don Glass): 1; 0.368 points.
Russia (Matt Sundstrom): 11; 44.485 points.
Turkey (Peter Lokken): 0; 0.000 points.
The supply center chart is here. Hopefully the players will chime in with their comments. Several promised to do so last night as we rehashed the game well into the wee hours.
It was a fun night and another landmark for the Weasels. In addition to the seven players, we had two observers: A Meetup guy named Ted who lives close to the Lion, has played Dip online for a number of years, and seems a great prospect for our club, and a friend of Lokken’s and Laura’s who clearly had nothing better to do.
The march to our 300th game begins Dec. 30 at Sundstrom’s home in Glenview. That game is currently full, but if there’s sufficient interest, we could field a second board. We also have games scheduled for Jan. 12 at Gramila’s home in Logan Square and Feb. 2 at McClelland’s home in Rogers Park. We’ll schedule more bar games soon. Watch the website.
I’m not sure we’ll reach 300 games as quickly as we got to 200, and 400 seems a long, long way off. But if you find yourself on that 400th board, heed these words: Expect the unexpected.