The Online Diplomacy Leagues

I know, I know – there are a LOT of tourneys out there right now! So, do we really need a new Dip League?

Well, the ONLINE DIPLOMACY LEAGUES franchise is just that – not just one league but – eventually – nine! Oh, and it will feature, even more eventually, three tournaments!

So, what is the ODL?

Three Formats

When I started this idea, I recognised that there were three variants of Diplomacy that fit well into a League format.

First, of course, the real game, Full Press Diplomacy. Online this is a variant (although it doesn’t have to be, I know) because it features communication – press – in each phase, not just the Diplomacy phases. That really shouldn’t happen according to the rules; this, though, is online Dip, when you could well be playing against people from different continents who are asleep when you’re avidly messaging them. It makes sense to have communication open all the time. Well, to me, anyway!

Second, Gunboat Diplomacy. In this variant there’s no communication between players at all. You may be able to signal your hopes of an alliance by making orders that don’t make sense in the game (eg BLA S Ven-Tri) but that’s about all.

Third, Speedboat Diplomacy. This is the same as Gunboat, but with deadlines of 5 minutes; if you like, Live Gunboat! Of the three this is the trickiest of the leagues to run, because the games will all be played on the same day and every player needs to be onsite at the same time for the duration (or, at least, until they’re elminated).

Three Sites

There are three big Diplomacy sites out there that can possibly host these events:

  • Playdiplomacy: This is still the biggest Dip site on the internet. It has all three features and a forum to organise the leagues on. The only issue here is that Gunboat games are Premium only, so you need to have a Premium account or enough Premium Credits to play.
  • webDiplomacy: Like Playdip, this site has all three game types, created by setting deadline lengths when creating the games. The issue on webDip is, as I found out, I can’t create a game and withdraw from it before someone else joins. As I’m not playing in any of these games, that is a problem that I still need to overcome.
  • Backstabbr: Not really in the same realms as Playdip and webDip in terms of players but a very popular site as it is often used for virtual FTF tourneys. The one issue with Backstabbr is that it doesn’t have its own forum so I’m advertising these games through Reddit, Discord and the ODL forum.

Nine Leagues

So there you go: each site will have it’s own three leagues – a Press League, a Gunboat League and a Speedboat League.

Two of the Gunboat Leagues are already underway, starting on 4 March. The PGL had three games in Round 1, and the BGL a disappointing single game. The WGL was hampered by the fact that I tried to start a game and came across the issue I mentioned above. The PGL and BGL will have eight rounds, the WGL seven. For each League, the top 7 players when the season ends will be invited to enter a Championship game.

The Press Leagues are starting this weekend and the PPL and BPL have already got Round 1 games created and are waiting for players. The WPL is also starting this weekend… although I’m relying on volunteers from that site to create games for me! The format for the Press Leagues is six rounds and a Championship game.

The Speedboat Leagues will start in July 2023. The idea with these games is that, one day each month, players will be able to play a game (or games) as part of the League. This will happen on Backstabbr and webDiplomacy; as Speedboat is brand new to Playdiplomacy, we’ll see. I don’t expect to run the PSL this year. These Leagues will be slightly different: players can enter as many games in a round as they want and there won’t be a Championship game. I anticipate these games being tough to fill!

The ODL Championships

I know, I know… just when you thought the excitement couldn’t get any higher!!!

The big idea is to invite players from each site’s league in each format to compete in a cross site event. This would feature the top seven players from each League playing-off to become the ODL Champion for that format.

Each ODL Championship would be held on one of the sites: Playdip will feature the ODL Press Championship, with Backstabbr and webDip featuring either the ODL Gunboat Chamionship or the ODL Speedboat Championship.

The ODL Championships are a way off, of course, especially the Speedboat Championship. But that’s the plan!

Want to find out more..?

You can find information about the ODL franchise at the ONLINE DIPLOMACY LEAGUES forum and on the ONLINE DIPLOMACY LEAGUES Discord server.

For the Playdiplomacy leagues, go to the Playdip Forum.

For the webDiplomacy leagues, go to the webDip forum.

For the Backstabbr leagues, go to the Backstabbr Reddit, or the Diplomacy Reddit.

Published by Mal Arky

I'm a Diplomacy nut... if you haven't guessed. I write about the game Diplomacy, mainly as played online on websites, such as Playdiplomacy, webDiplomacy and Backstabbr. I write books on Diplomacy, too. First one to be published soon!

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