“Why are we watching soccer?”

Strange things happen on Friday the 13th. Sadly for the host, Mike Morrison’s board-top was not one of them. This game marked the third time in the past two years that I’ve watched Mike roll to a giant board-top in my family room. And this time, he did it with my centers…and also with wanton disregard for the other players.

Morrison actually showed up to a Diplomacy game with a box of creampuffs. Such hubris.

The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1908 turn in the following center counts:


Austria (Mike Morrison): 12; 52.941 points.
England (Kevin O’Kelley): 1; 0.368 points.
France (Mike Whitty): 7; 18.015 points.
Germany (Matt Kade): 3; 3.309 points.
Italy (Jim O’Kelley): 1; 0.368 points.
Russia (Don Glass): 8: 23.529 points.
Turkey (Samuel Bassett): 2; 1.471 points.

The supply center chart is here.

In between Mike’s first slap of our faces with the creampuffs and his last slap with the board-top, the game featured solid alliance play in the West by Whitty and Kade, quick take-downs of Turkey and Italy in the East, a solo bid by Glass, some great "little guy" play by the three little guys, and three colossal misorders by Kade. Twice he ordered Moscow to Norway (once to his benefit, as it turned out), and on the penultimate turn, he ordered Edinburgh (instead of Yorkshire) to London, which ensured that Kevin could take London from him and survive the game.

Dan Burgess quickly volunteered to sit out, since we had eight players, and instead ran the game for us, which was nice.

After the game, Morrison, Kade, Bassett, Glass and I sat on the patio until around 2 a.m., rehashing the game, trading war stories from games past, and generally just soaking in a good Opening Night.

Next up, we’ll be at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square on Sept. 25 for our first bar game of Season Nine. Kade and Morrison are also talking about organizing our first Hyde Park game, so watch for an announcement about that.

Season Nine is open. I hope to see you over a board soon.

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 6 Comments

  1. Jim O'Kelley

    And since I don’t have a good answer for Kevin’s question, which he asked around 11 p.m., I’ll just let it hang.

  2. Mike Morrison

    As we figured out in post-game analysis, it’s possible to have too many allies. And that point came, for me, fairly early in this game.

    In the first build season, I had a quandary. What to build? Default for Austria would have been two armies. And yet, with both Russia and Germany playing nice, why encourage hostilities with them? And Italy had come to me at the beginning with an idea of a Blue Water Lepanto. At least theoretically (although it had been a long time since I’d studied the opening, so perhaps I was rusty here–see endnote), Italy’s giving Austria the nod to work the sea-zones.

    If I was going to be dividing Turkey with Russia, another fleet might be useful and non-aggressive so Russia could commit more to the north. I’d have to convince Italy after the build, but since I believed it that might be possible. Whereas I didn’t see a way to sell Russia on the idea that an army wasn’t aggressive. At least, not without making a move versus Germany, which appeared to me a disastrous idea at that point. (Later, when the German-French alliance had been cemented and France had begun a southern campaign with three fleets moving south and an army in Piedmont, with Italy’s encouragement, Russia and I reformed our alliance, which was fairly solid until the predictable last move dishonorable dot-scramble of a forewarned sell-by date, i.e. cutoff time.)

    A number of random factors colluded to give me the advantage versus Russia on that arbitrary date: the German army that had been harassing him behind his lines from Moscow with misorders (that might actually have been better, for me, than moves, given that it meant Russia’s troops had to retreat further to deal with the interloper), the wily Italian pirate fleet based first in Tunis then Spain that allowed us to break through in the Mediterranean against the French (a feat that would have seemed impossible to any impartial observer but a year earlier when France had–if memory serves correctly–army in Piedmont, fleets in Lyon, Western Med, N. Africa versus Italian fleet Tunis and Austrians in Ionian and Tyrrhenean Sea–there was also a lone Turkish fleet in Aegean which might have decided to tap Ionian at any moment. Doom seemed certain. And yet, two seasons later, the Italian fleet was in Western Med, Austrian fleets occupied Tyrrhenean and Lyon, and it was an Austrian army was in Piedmont. Luck, if such a thing exists, was on the side of the good guys, such as they were.)

    ENDNOTE: I believe I once read in the distant past, an article by Manus Hand on the Blue Water Lepanto (available online at http://www.diplom.org/Zine/W1999A/Hand/bwl.html). When Italy suggested it to me, saying he knew I was fond of offbeat openings, he may have been thinking of steering me away from the von Metzke, which I’ve tried before publically to disastrous results. Or he may have wanted to make sure I knew a Sledgehog(TM) would be instantly averted when Rome moved to Venice. I asked him to remind me the details of the opening, and it did sound interesting to me, provided Russia would be willing to DMZ Galicia, which he was, and my previous experience with the Russian player indicated he’d be most likely to attack me in 1904. By the way, according to the ‘classical variation’ of the Blue Water Lepanto (henceforth BWL), Austria avoids negotiation with Italy and attempts to confuse him from the very first move. I failed to carry through on both those counts, and also began the opening incorrectly in a basic sense by putting my pieces on the wrong squares (VIE-BUD and TRI-ALB instead of VIE-TRI and TRI-ADR). I guess we should call that a Dry-dock Blue-water Anti-sledgehog Deferred Von Metzke (DBADVM) until better nomenclature comes along.

    P.S. What’s wrong with soccer? I’m not a sports guy, so I don’t understand these things.

  3. Jim O'Kelley

    Two things.

    First, regarding the Blue Water Lepanto (and this is a response to the original article, not your post, Mike), I’ll take your word for it that the original article calls for Tri-Adr and Vie-Tri, but that’s just stupid. Pretty much ensures that Austria only gets one build (which, admittedly, would have made you a much better ally in our game).

    All the subterfuge the opening needs is for Austria to claim post-Fall that he moved to the Ionian because he knew Italy had to take Tunis with his fleet and he figured he could get away with it. All that other crap is overkill.

    The point of the BWL is to eliminate the guessing game for F Ion’s move in Spring 1902 while also freeing the unit in Greece for action against Bulgaria. We didn’t have to follow through with the Spring 1902 moves — F Tun S F Nap-Ion, F Ion-Aeg/Eas, and then Ion retreat to the other space if the move resulted in a bounce — because Turkey built A Smy and his fleet in Con appeared to be (and was) otherwise occupied.

    Second, at around 1 a.m., as we were sitting on my patio, a group of idiots passing through the neighborhood started yelling “Penis!” Bassett and Kade explained that they were playing a game and that the person who yelled loudest would win.

    “Can I play?” asked Kade.

    “No,” I replied.

    “But if I play, I can win,” he said.

    “Sometimes,” I said, “you win by not playing the game.”

    So, after further review, our board-topper Friday night was Burgess.

  4. Dan Burgess

    At 10pm the only live sports I could find on the television was Santos Laguna vs Club America from Mexico. I love Mexican soccer but apparently the younger O’Kelley didn’t share my enthusiasm for watching sports from another country in another language.

    While his objections fell on deaf ears, they did make for the title of this recap.

  5. Peter Yeargin

    Burgess is always the winner in my eyes.

  6. Mike Morrison

    I’ve just discovered that DBADVM is already taken by someone called Doing Business As Department of Voter Mehicles. Yet, I can’t imagine any confusion will occur. Still, I’m not going to hire a patent attorney. I do believe I’ve been misquoted as well in the Weakly Weasel, if I sneered anything as I came in, it was that I had brought a snack, but I didn’t wish to offend anyone. Or, as Sarah Silverman put it, if I offended anyone, I was only anticipating their offensiveness towards me–only being pre-emptively offensive. It’s funnier when she says it.

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