We had both been knocked out of the Royale and were enjoying cigars–my cigars–on the deck at Dan Burgess’ home in Downers Grove, when Jake Trotta breathed a deep sigh.
"Jim," he lamented, "I haven’t topped a board since CODCon."
But yesterday at our Diplomacy game in the sky, the Young Wolverine was back on the prowl. Game No. 319, played Saturday in Bryan Pravel’s Gold Coast penthouse apartment, ended by draw vote during the Spring 1908 turn in the following center counts:
Austria (Jake Trotta): 11; 39.803 points.
England (Mick Johnson): 0; 0.000 points.
France (Zane Blanton): 11; 39.803 points.
Germany (Pete McNamara): 7; 16.118 points.
Italy (Matt Sundstrom): 2; 1.316 points.
Russia (David Spanos): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (Michael McIntrye): 3; 2.961 points.
The supply center chart is here. Players, observers, what really happened?
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The game featured two first-time Weasels and brand-new Diplomacy players. Michael McIntrye found us on Meetup. Zane Blanton is a gaming buddy of his. Hopefully they’ll both play again.
Observers on the day included host Bryan Pravel, Brandon Fogel and Brian Shelden.
Iowa 14, Michigan 13 made the night worthwhile!
A very fun game overall. Congrats to Zane and Jake for the shared board top.
(Election trigger warning)
You know, folks, when I started doing this, going around the entire map of Europe like this, for about 7 years now, I had one goal, very simple, it’s a simple goal: to Make Austria Great Again. Make Austria Great Again. Very simple, but a wonderful goal. Say it with me folks: MAKE AUSTRIA GREAT AGAIN. That’s right.
And how are we going to do that? How did we do that? It all starts with this, everyone. We’re going to protect our borders. We’ve got to keep our borders safe. Italy, good guy, but kinda low energy, he had to choose between fighting one of two new players, or fighting me. Russia agreed to bounce me in Galicia, but he COULD NOT be trusted. Could not be trusted. With a new player in Turkey, no way. Just couldn’t do it folks.
So here’s what I did-I pulled Turkey aside and told him that we’re going to win this thing together. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again, so much winning you’ll get tired of it. I’m a great ally, the best ally. Nobody allies with new players better than me, because we win! That’s what we do, we win.
Armenia, beautiful place, beautiful country, and Turkey and I made a wonderful deal, a truly just a great deal, for him to go there. Turkey has been a great friend of mine and continues to be. Russia moved NORTH to start, so we made great progress right away, we took Sevastapol, he got the black sea. And despite CROOKED GERMANY denying us a support cut, a German who was supposed to be our friend-seriously, you can’t trust that guy, can you folks? But despite LYING PETE denying us the support, we didn’t lose our home centers. The support wasn’t there, it was invisible, like that facemask later that night. I’m telling you, the system is rigged. Everybody, listen to me, it is RIGGED.
But you know what we did? We protected our borders. Then, in the next year, we made them stronger, we made another GREAT deal with Turkey, and convinced him to leave Bulgaria open.
That’s some negotiating, isn’t it? That’s the kind of leadership we need right now. I’ve done it, no one else has done, my opponents have been doing this for YEARS, for YEARS, and they can’t do it. It’s a mess, believe me. But I can do it. Because I know how to make GREAT deals. Just the best deals folks.
Now the west was a BIG, FAT MESS. They just didn’t know what was going on, and I’ll tell you, it was a real problem. France in the Irish, the English with an army in Brest, it was a DISASTER. Can’t happen. And I wanted to push the tempo with our great ally, truly wonderful guy, Michael, Turkey- just a great relationship we had. But then CROOKED GERMANY bounced us out of Galicia. For what? What is that, people? It’s crazy, I’m telling you.
So I looked at the board and said “you know, this is a chance for us to make Austria truly special, really great.” We needed a bigger wall, a defensive wall including the Aegean and Bulgaria. And we did that, we took them. Took a couple seasons, but we got it done. And then Venice was WIDE OPEN, wide open for us. Italy, with a BIG, FAT MISTAKE, was totally committed west. Totally committed. Sad!
Italy tried to talk us out of it, saying he’ll throw everything our way if we did that, if we took Venice, and you know what folks? You know what I thought? The wall just got 10 feet higher.
Now, because the west was such a total disaster, just a real disaster, Germany had a lot of opportunity. And we worked with our friend Turkey, and our friend Russia, and we had to stop him folks. We couldn’t let Crooked Germany get away with it. Russia, good guy, was moving to Ankara as part of our deal. And Turkey offered to cut his support, unknowingly walking out of my center. That’s right everyone, he walked out of my center. When you’re a star, they let you do that. They give you support, they walk out of your centers, they give you three builds. THREE BUILDS. That’s right everybody.
I’ve built great structures, great alliance structures and real structures, like two armies in Vienna. I couldn’t build more because they wouldn’t let me, we didn’t have any space for it! That’s winning right there. And we were on top of the world, we called for an end to it. But the RAT in Italy rejected it! They rigged it! But these people, they all colluded together, they threw dots. Germany was in the barren lands, and let me tell you, he wasn’t sending his best. Not at all, he got NOTHING.
And I told him, I told France “look, you’re not getting a sole board top here, I’m not going down two, we can make friends here.” I offered him a GREAT deal, and you know what they did? The coaches there, the so-called unbiased media? They laughed! They laughed, they did. But England, great friend to us, agreed to give us St. Petersburg, he’s a good guy, and I will not forget that. I never forget my friends, truly.
But you know what folks? Let me tell you-we did not go down 2 builds. We scrambled together 11 centers, 40 points, not bad, especially when you consider the system was rigged. We kept all our units on the board, and at the end of the day, WE WON. That’s right, we did it. Not bad at all folks.
You know what the media is saying, welcome back. That’s a nice gesture, it’s very friendly. But it was never about that folks, it’s about us. You know it’s about-say it with me: MAKE AUSTRIA GREAT AGAIN. We’re going to make Austria great again. We did it, and we won, and we’re gonna keep winning. So much winning that you’ll be tired of it.
Well, there’s only one way to follow that up.
I think this is my favorite AAR ever.