THE WISE OLD WEASEL STABS THE DAY
Weasels, it is the Ides of March, the date of the most famous stab in human history.
Julius Caesar, renowned politician, general, diplomatic, lover and Protector of Rome took Italy all the way to 17 centers in 44 BC, with all of France, Belgium, Iberia, all of Italy, Tunis, Trieste, Serbia, Greece, Bul, and all of Turkey. (Yes, we here at the Wise Old Weasel counted the dots.)
But just before he could call himself Julius Solo, Caesar’s senate compatriots formed a grand alliance to stop him. Antony, Caesar’s most loyal ally, gave a moving eulogy… and summarily pardoned the assassins.
Today is a day we celebrate the stab, the crux of this great game we call diplomacy. Whether you are Casca, rushing into the shoulder blade first, Cassius, who swung for the face and missed, or Brutus, the beloved brother who stuck a sword in his side, we all have our memorable stabs.
On this Ides of March, do not merely beware, but relish in the thrill of stabbing and, yes, being stabbed.
So, Weasels, let us stab the day and share our great war stories and sage stab advice below.
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I’ll help us cross the stabby Rubicon here with 5 of my favorites.
1) Girlfriend stab has to be my favorite. I had the girl I was dating play diplomacy with me, she was I to my A, and we had a great AI going. Then, just before the deadline, she says to me “I’m kinda ready to go home.” In my head, I’m like “we can make that happen,” so I stabbed for 3.
We split a few months later.
2) Keeping it in the family, my brother Ian introduced me to the game, and any time we play together we stab the shit out of each other (to our own detriment- neither of us have topped a board when the other has been on it.)
We’ve been RT together twice, the Trottanaut, and in the most recent Trottanaut game we agreed to an RT and I asked Ian right before we stopped talking “you’re not going to Armenia are you?”
He laughs nervously, saying “what? Noooo”
Spoilers: he went to Armenia, Brandon played us off each other for the whole game and ran away with a monster Italy (he might write on that later).
3) There was a player (who shall go unnammed) down to one center. Due to consumption of one too many cookies, he was well on the Stairway to Heaven, dozing off in an easy chair listening to Zeppelin, having not ordered a single unit for several seasons. But just as I was about to take the lead, an order came down from on high to prevent the capture of a crucial center, allowing John Gramila to outpace me and my game to collapse.
4) At World’s second round, I walked over to Johnny G, Ol’ 8 Ball, and saw his 8 center Italy allied with 8 center Turkey. Turkey had 7 armies and one fleet in the black. As soon as I saw that, I asked Turkey “hey you know Italy is going to solo right?”
Turkey replied “yes, probably.”
A very impressive stab-having them recognize the eventual reality and still play that tape to the end. John did solo that game.
5) Similarly, at CODCON last year I was thrilled to have just had a massive board top, then I saw Matt Sundstrom’s Russia allied with a Turkey that had 10 (10!) fleets. He stabbed, nearly getting to 18 but taking a draw before the solo. Had the game continued, he solos.
Moral of the story- if you’re turkey, have a freaking unit mix.