The Hadrian Alliance

Powers: England/Italy

Stage: Mid-game/Endgame

Primary Target(s): France, Germany, Russia

Also known as… ???

Associated 3-way alliances: The Spaghetti Western, The Guillotine, The Maritime Triple

The E/I alliance is not a great Early Game alliance on its own. Both powers have much more interest in their own locality to deal with than in each other. The real strength of Anglo-Italian cooperation in the Early Game is in swapping information.

Often, in this relationship, the bigger winner is England. If Italy can tell you what they’ve heard from France, Germany or Russia, all of which Italy should be in regular communication with, England can begin to build an Early Game strategy that is useful.

Alternatively, Italy gains very little from this. Italy may be interested in where France’s A(Mar) is going but, even then, Italy and France will often agree to a DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) in Piedmont anyway because it benefits neither of them to move there. Of more interest is whether England knows where Germany’s A(Mun) is heading: Mun-Tyl is comparatively rare, more often an agreed bounce between Germany and a reluctant Italy, but if Germany is intent on getting involved in the south then it may help Italy to know this. If a potential Russo-Italian alliance (the renowned Wintergreen) is forming then, arguably, England still gains more from knowing what Russia is doing than Italy does.

So this is very much more often Mid-game, rather than Early Game, alliance. If both powers have entered this stage of the game as mid-ranking powers, working together against a more powerful neighbour is a good choice. As you can see above, again, England probably benefits the most from this alliance, as the three usual suspects for being the target of the Hadrian alliance are France, Germany or Russia.

If France is doing well, then England or Germany will have suffered. For the sake of this alliance, it had better be Germany. This then frees France to either move against England or Italy… and then the chance is that the other will be the next target. It makes sense, therefore, for these two potential prey powers to work together to make sure France is shackled, at the very least. It is quite common, however, for both powers to be heavily committed away from France so it can be difficult for them to work aggressively against France on the board.

If Germany is the main common threat, then – again – France or England have likely suffered; let’s assume it’s France (otherwise we’re wasting our time!). This is potentially a more profitable target. Italy may be embroiled in the east, of course, but can potentially take action to the north more readily than in the west (against France). England may have benefited from France’s demise and be able to focus those units against Germany next. Unfortunately for the Hadrian alliance, it is often more profitable for England to focus their actions in the west Mediterranean spaces, as this is a way of securing the western side of the board.

Russia might be a target. This suggests a third (or even third and fourth) power(s) are also involved, however, as, for England and Italy to work together against Russia, they need to be free to do so. England needs to be free to thrust east, potentially ignoring German SCs; Italy also needs to be able to strike north-east, without worrying about Austria or Turkey, who will be in an ideal anti-Italian situation.

Given the difficulties of making the Hadrian alliance work, at almost any stage of the game, such an alliance is often subsumed by a triple alliance. More likely, then, that a Hadrian alliance forms in the Endgame, when the two powers are potentially able to block a potential winner from breaking across the neutral zone, the line of non-SC spaces that separates the west from the east. Crossing this line can be the key to success for a player, providing access to the eighteenth SC. Working together, they can ensure that it is difficult to achieve this.

Again, unfortunately for both powers, it is common for one or even both of them to get into the Endgame as an ‘also ran’, a power that’s there but not in any real force. Again, then, they are more likely participating powers in a Grand Alliance.

The Hadrian alliance isn’t common, therefore. Neither power should be considering this unless circumstances demand it.

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.

DBNI 2023 – Spurtings of a Spectator

What makes a good game of Diplomacy?

I’ve got to be honest, for me the DBNI didn’t seem to meet any of the thoughts I had about this. First, I wasn’t playing. Come on, how often do you really enjoy watching a board game as opposed to playing it? I was suspicious of the new format (see below); I mean, ‘winner-take-all’? In a tournament!?! Pfft. And that map..!

Well, I have to admit, the DBNI 2023 well and truly buggered my expectations. What makes a good game of Diplomacy? Go back and look at the broadcasts for this tournament and be prepared to walk away with a strange gait.

The Map

This image doesn’t do the map any justice. And, to be fair, I never really thought this would matter. (By the way, I know this is from the Virtual Diplomacy League, but it’s the same map as used by the 2023 DBNI.)

But, well, it’s beautifully simple.

It’s clear. The units fit in the spaces. You can see SCs and names even when the units are in their spaces. Like it or not, and some people won’t for the reasons I didn’t initially, it works.

I didn’t like it because, well, the blockiness. It doesn’t really look like a map of Europe. Where are all the fiddly bits? Look at Norway… where are the fjords? Well, yes, quite… but, let’s face it, what do those fiddly bits add to the Dip board?

Yes, the order arrows are clumsy looking but, frankly, I don’t see how they could be improved.

I’m going to be honest, I decided that I liked the map so much that I’d use it as the model for my Dip maps going forward… And that’s why I’ve my new map on the home page. (I hope the designer of the DBN map doesn’t mind… if you do, tell me!)

Game play

There are lots of ideas about how Diplomacy should be played, most of them ridiculous, frankly. But, when it came to this tournament, we saw quite a lot of them.

Is it about a balance of power: should players act to prevent another player from establishing a dominant position? Is it about going for the solo? Is it about staying ahead of the field?

In the DBNI there was a different idea for tournaments tried out: winner-takes-all. I say “winner” – perhaps leader is the better word.

The DBNI didn’t feature any scoring: the only thing that mattered was finishing ahead of everyone else on the board. If you won – soloed – you were through. If the game ended in a draw, and you had the most SCs at the end of the game, you were through.

And that was it.

Round 1 featured 4 games and 28 players. At the end of each game, only the soloists and board-toppers qualified for the final. Everyone else… almost… qualified for the Repercharge, the second-chance round of three games. And, again, only the soloists and board-toppers qualified for the final.

I was sceptical. This was a tournament without scoring. It was a series of one-off games, not really a ‘tournament’ – in the accepted sense – at all! How would this work?

Well, surprisingly (for me), brilliantly!

Again, if you haven’t seen it, go look at the games – they were brilliant!

OK, so with a field as talented as this, it was going to feature good play. The two previous winners of the DBNI were there: Peter McNamara and Jason Mastbaum. WDC winners were involved. This tournament featured Dipmeisters in each game!

But, I have to say, this was a combination of bloodthirsty Dip and balance of power Dip – a Dipfest!

Carebearism just wasn’t going to cut the mustard. No point playing to draw the game because that wouldn’t get you anywhere!

Now, those of you who have read my posts will know I’ve been somewhat scathing of ideas like Topping the Board in the past. And, frankly, I still am. When the game is over, if it ends in a draw, how many SCs you hold matters not a hoot.

But, you know what? After watching the DBNI, I can see that it has its advantages, if only in a limited way – for a tournament or a league. Because this is a good way to decide the outcome of the game? No. Because this is a good way of encouraging different ways to play.

In any tournament, solos should be at a premium. Riaz Virani, arguably the Dippyist of the moment, soloed his first round game. That was all. Eight games, one solo. Every other game was decided by who ‘Topped the Board’: when the game ended in a draw, the leader won.

[See here for game results.]

Three games were ended when the Game End Date (GED) was reached, one of them being the final. Four games ended in an agreed draw, which actively eliminated players. Why should someone who placed ahead of another player on SC count qualify in a draw? Because this was a tournament with 8 games, in which most people played two games. Some differentiation is always going to be necessary.

So, as distasteful as SCS is to me, it has its advantages. And, in this format, it produced some amazing play.

But it wasn’t all risk-taking. There was a lot of balance of power play, too, with players taking on-the-board and – clearly – off-the-board decisions to ensure that someone didn’t run away with a game. With the exclusion of Riaz’s first round game, when he soloed because his neighbours didn’t manage to do enough to prevent it and, indeed, Bradley Grace threw the game, BOP play was clearly in evidence.

And, you know what? It inspired me to begin designing an online tournament similar in nature. There needs to be adaptations for the online format, but the idea of designing an online tournament that has the only guarantee of progress being the winner, or leader, when the game ends is exciting. “The Gauntlet” will be played on Playdiplomacy.

There is, perhaps, one question and Brandon Fogel, in his interview with David Hood on the DBN’s Deadline News March 2023 edition, addressed it: was the advantage given to higher seeds too great?

In the first round, the four lowest seeded players had to win the game or they were eliminated. They might have ended the game with the second highest SC count and still not get anywhere in the tournament. Combined with the fact that they probably drew the power nobody else wanted, because the ‘Paris Method’ (I’ll explain this below) was used in each game, and that, in itself, put them at a disadvantage, this was extremely harsh.

Perhaps the first round games might have assigned powers randomly. This would have given these lower seeds at least a decent chance of progressing. Perhaps the first players eliminated from each first round game might have been eliminated. Four players had to be eliminated because there would otherwise have been 24 players in the Repercharge games.

Overall, this was the best tournament that I’ve watched: exciting with a combination of tactics and strategies. All tournaments could benefit from these two positives!

NOTESThe Paris Method

This is used, most often in finals, to help provide a clear outcome should the game end in a tie – a drawn game in which there is more than one player topping the board.

It starts with power allocation. The lowest ranked player gets to decide when he chooses their power. The next highest ranked player then chooses whether they choose their power before or after the lowest ranked. The next highest ranked player then chooses whether they choose first, second or last… and so on, until all players have chosen the order in which they select a power.

The player who has first choice, then selects the power they want to play. The player with second choice chooses from the remaining powers, and so on until the player who is last in the order is left with the only remaining power.

The game is then played. If it ends in a solo, then the soloist wins. If the game ends in a draw, then the player with the most SCs at the end wins. If the game ends in a draw with two or more players with an equal number of SCs at the end, the tie is broken by the player who chose a power later winning.

If SC count isn’t used to decide the outcome, then if the game ends in a draw, the player who chose a power later wins, regardless of the number of SCs held.

It’s a simple method for preventing a final board ending in a tie, and gives a decision that, while it may appear disengaged from the game play to some extent, prevents a shared win, which is what every tournament should be aiming for!

Why online play needs longer deadlines

I thought I’d be able to find it in “The Game of Diplomacy”, Richard Sharp’s book. You know, I often just look at the chapters on each power when I’m reading this but, having skimmed through it, I’m going to sit back one day and read it all. Pearls of wisdom doesn’t do it justice, as out-dated as it might be.

It wasn’t there, so I had to look elsewhere. But I got lazy so I have to rely not on a quote but on hearsay. Still, I’ve seen it… somewhere… so I know it’s true.

Richard believed that postal play produced more accurate play. This isn’t to say that postal play was better than FTF play, but that it produced fewer mistakes. And, if you think about it, you can understand why.

In the postal game, deadlines where exteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeended. If you call online play XD (Extended Deadline), well, yes, in comparison to FTF and vFTF it is; in comparison to postal play: “You’re having a laaaarf, ain’tcha?”

Postal games were published in zines. Although zine deadlines varied, in the UK they were often published four or five times a year. Now, imagine that: having to wait two or three months for an adjudication!

What this meant is that PBM players had time: time to consider their moves, time to consider their diplomacy. With that much time, you could plan things to the nth degree. If you made a mistake, there was no real excuse.

Compare that to the FTF game. Fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes! To communicate, persuade, cajole, threaten, etc other players and get your orders right. Richard held that this meant FTF play naturally incorporated more errors.

The inheritors of postal Diplomacy

We don’t have PBM Diplomacy any more, except for the odd game played for nostalgia’s sake. PBM was replaced initially by PBEM – Play-By-Email – and, with the adaptation of automated Judges, by Diplomacy sites and apps. If you, like me, play online, then you’re playing the evolved descendent of Postal Dip.

What does that mean? Well, if Richard Sharp was right, and PBM Dip was more accurate because of the time players have to make decisions and communicate effectively, then the same can be said for XD Dip.

It doesn’t matter whether you play on a Dip site or an app: you have longer to make decisions and communicate with other players. You should be able to make fewer mistakes… shouldn’t you?

If only this were true…

On the Playdip forum I can remember one member stating that they felt FTF players were better players than online. Why? Because they had to make decisions quickly; assess the board quickly; influence opponents quickly. For this person, this equated to better play.

Well, I don’t know. I’ve seen FTF and vFTF play and, well, it’s littered with what I’d consider errors. Like Richard Sharp, though, I put this down to the pace of the game.

In fairness, I’ve seen this type of play online, too. If everyone was brilliant, how boring would the game be? Celebrate the stupidity of Dip!

There’s another comparison between PBM and Online Diplomacy, and this I did find in “The Game of Diplomacy”: Missed turns and drop-outs. We tend to see this as a product of online play because it’s an absolute pain. Even when pointing out that this isn’t reserved for Diplomacy, but any and all online games, the focus is on it being online. It isn’t; it’s a factor of remote games, and it was a pain for the Postal Hobby, too.

What is indisputable is that modern remote play, which is primarily played over the internet, is the inheritor of PBM Diplomacy. The deadlines aren’t as long, and the play is usually automated, but it can feature the same advantages when playing Diplomacy that Sharp identifies in Postal play in comparison to FTF play.

Don’t forget, it’s Diplomacy

Regardless of the way in which we play, Diplomacy is about… well, diplomacy. Communication. Negotiation. Persuasion. And other concepts that relate to talking or writing to each other. It isn’t called Diplomacy for the sake of it.

As I mentioned above, Richard Sharp identified an advantage that PBM Dip had over FTF Dip in the time players had to communicate. Again, online play provides the same advantage… if we use it.

One thing that makes me wonder what some people think Diplomacy’s about is the length of deadline used in online games. If you’ve been thinking about it, you’ll have worked that out from the title of this post.

What would you say is the most common deadline? Well, I’d guess, at its longest, the most common deadline for an online Diplomacy game would be 1 day. 24 hours in which to communicate with other players and consider your moves.

So here’s my question: What can you do in a 24 hour deadline?

Well, you might be able to exchange 3 or 4 messages between you and another player, perhaps your ally. What about the other players? How much communication can you have between you and them? A message each way?

Is this enough time to play Diplomacy?

I guess the simple answer for some people is: “Yes.” It must be. Which is puzzling.

You might say that compared to FTF Diplomacy, when most turns feature 15 minutes to do the same things, then 24 hours is plenty of time. If you did say that, I’d ask you whether you’d actually thought about this.

In an in-person game – FTF or vFTF – you’re playing against people who are there, either in the same place as you or online at the same time as you. In S01, you have 30 minutes; with six opponents, that’s 5 mins to communicate to everyone else. Not a lot. After S01, just 15 minutes… that’s 2.5 minutes a person but, more likely, 5 minutes with the people you particularly want to talk with.

Now, consider just how much can be communicated in 5 minutes. It’s actually a pretty decent time to have a conversation. Not a comfortable amount of time, to be sure; but enough. If you’re an efficient communicator, which the best players are.

Online, the situation is very different. You’re typing your messages. It could well be that it takes five minutes to write the message you want to send; longer if you’re invested in the tactical and strategic aspects of the phase. Then you have to wait until the recipient is online before you can anticipate an answer.

Now let’s say you live in the UK, and the person you’re communicating with is in Australia. Or it could be the US, perhaps even the west coast. You’re writing in the morning… they’re in bed, dreaming of stabbing you, or about to go to bed. They may even be in school, college, work; walking the goldfish, on the lavatory, on a date… you know, living.

So, it might take them six hours or more to get back to you. You then have to be online to get that message; if it happens that you’re not, then you only get their reply perhaps half the deadline later. Which is fine if you’re both on the same page; what if you need to put more effort in?

Do you see what I’m saying? Of course, you can.

The skill in Diplomacy is in the communication, at least as much as it is in the tactics of moving icons around a map. For me, it’s much more important to be able to communicate effectively. Any old AI can pick the best orders.

Pussycat Diplomacy

There is a phenomenon in online play which I call “Pussycat Diplomacy”. Not that it’s cool and calculated, or sweet and cuddly. No, Pussycat Diplomacy is the idea that the game should be played as quickly as possible. Shorter and shorter deadlines and, even within a deadline, Pussycat diplomats can be heard screaming; “FInalise! Finalise!!!”

“Faster, Pusscat! Faster!”

These are the players who don’t know how to communicate. They are the ones who couldn’t persuade someone dying of dehydration to sip some water. They think a long message is: “I’m moving to Ruhr; support me?”

These are the players of Risk who think Diplomacy is a clone, and are happiest when playing Gunboat, even when they don’t know they would be.

If they knew who Cyndi Lauper was, they’d be singing: “I want everything, and I want it NOW!”

What? Hold a conversation? Bugger that – FINALISE!!!!!!!!!!

I may be exaggerating.

The point is, the faster you play the game, the less you actually play the game.

Now, I can understand it for a relaxed, friendly, stab-my-mate game. OK. But I know tournaments and leagues where players have deadlines of 24 hours. If you win a tournament like that you’re probably a great tactician and a good communicator who’s been able to take advantage of those who just want the adjudication so they can do something. It’s not surprising that a lot of players online don’t last for very long.

Look, any Dipmeister will tell you that, as much as you need to have a good understanding of on-the-board tactics, to play Diplomacy well you need to be able to communicate. That is the same regardless of the format in which the game is being played. Why – why – are we moving the game away from this online?

If you’re organising a tournament or league, consider what type of play you want to encourage. I considered playing in the Nexus Press League but noticed that the deadlines were 1 day. I asked if the deadlines would be extended to 2 days and got a partially encouraging reply. To paraphrase: “I wondered if the shorter deadlines were discouraging some people. We usually just let the players choose the deadline.” I’m not knocking the NPL, by the way, I think it’s a great initiative and I hope it continues to be as strong as it is. This is an example.

OK, I understand that. You’re not going to please everyone all of the time. Honestly, I’d prefer 3 days because I tend to go on a bit (I know, who’d’a thought, eh?). I’m not going to get someone else to agree to that length of deadline in a competition. The problem is that, given the growing preponderance of Pussycat Diplomacy, deadlines of 1 day are the slowest they’re going to get as long as majority rule governs.

Online Diplomacy is rewarding in its own right. I don’t subscribe to the view that it is a stepping stone to the FTF Hobby. If we do want wider cross-format play, then 1 day deadlines (or less) don’t prepare people for FTF play, where communication skills are so important. 1 day deadlines simply don’t allow for the development of real communication skills in Diplomacy.

And, seeing online Diplomacy in its own right, 1 day deadlines don’t develop skills in the online game, either. How can they? There isn’t the opportunity to communicate… and Diplomacy is communication.

Deadline Delight

It’s been a hard week. I get home on Friday after a week of catching up with work that someone else was supposed to do while I was away looking after my mum. I get a glass, pour myself too many fingers of whisky (yeh, it’s Friday, but it’s early), switch on the telly, and go to YouTube. This is February; it’s the month in which the DBNI takes place, and I’m going to watch the Diplomacy Broadcast Network’s Deadline.

If you haven’t seen it, you should look it up. Some episodes are stronger than others, as with everything, but it’s definitely worth watching. February 2023’s episode is, in my humble opinion, one of the best.

That’s Me!

OK, so I’m mentioned. My post on the Leviathan alliance was brought up with the intro: “Mal Arky has resurfaced.” I don’t know if David Hood, Deadline’s host, knows why I was away but I think he’s just too much of a gentleman to not say it. “Resurfaced”, though, is just about perfect; there were times when I thought I wouldn’t. And it’s good to be noticed, I have to say!

But there were two brilliant sections to Feb 23’s episode. The first was an interview with Doug Kent, the publisher of the flagship publication in the Hobby, Diplomacy World. Again, if you aren’t reading it, what are you reading? Shakespeare? Fool.

Interview with Doug Kent

I don’t agree with Doug on a key aspect of my wing of the Hobby, which is the lack of ‘community’. I can see where Doug’s coming from. When the Hobby started it was principally face-to-face; players went around to different events, met up fairly regularly, and got to know each other. Even with Postal Diplomacy, or Play-By-Mail if you prefer, it tended to be about community because many of the players who played FTF were active in the Postal Hobby scene.

I did get to understand more about Doug’s take on this, though, through the interview. What he sees is online communities as being separate entities. He isn’t saying that the communities at Playdip and webDip aren’t communities; he’s saying that they’re insular communities. And I think he’s right in that, although I would also say that, more recently, there’s more cross-community mixing.

Markus Zijlstra, known as Captain Meme on both platforms (and possibly Backstabbr too, for all I know!), needs to take a lot of credit for this. I guess he’d say ‘his’ site was webDip. But he’s the main driving force behind the Online Diplomacy Championship. If you don’t know (and you really should because I’ve written a couple of posts about it) this is a tournament played every two years (-ish) and hosted alternately by webDip and Playdip.

I was supposed to be organising ODC IV in 2022. I started it, got it going (sort of) for the first round of games, and then the stroke hit and took me away. Markus and another angel, Jensen, picked up after me and drove it on.

Markus was recognised this year as the person who’d done most to act as an ambassador for the Dip Hobby in 2022 in the Diplomacy Briefing awards, just as he should have been. Not necessarily for the work he has done in the development of Cicero, the ‘AI’ that won the Markus’ Blitz tournament, in my opinion, but because he’s done a lot to bridge the gap between webDip and Playdip factions.

Doug’s right, though; that gap is sometimes almost too big to cross. When organising ODC IV on Playdip (which is ‘my’ site) I came across comments such as: “I hate the Playdip interface” and “I hate the map.” OK, well, fair enough; off you go.

This is what Doug’s driving at, I think, or part of it: all online players have their favourite places to play and we become used to those places. I found it hard to get used to webDip’s convoy order, for instance, where you order a convoy to, not a convoy from. And I hated webDip’s map (I also had a swipe at the new map design they use due to its pastel hues… but I actually kinda like it… may I rot in the Eastern Med for saying so). And there’s an order on Backstabbr that I get wrong that I shouldn’t be possible to get wrong. But, while I’ll happily say that I don’t like these things, I can put up with them and, frankly, I should be able to adapt to them. If not, that’s my problem, not the platforms’.

In contrast, when I first joined Playdip, I found the interface easy and instinctive. And the current Playdip map is by far the best looking one out there. (Sorry about that, David.)

I still say Doug is missing something, though, in his criticism of the modern Hobby’s lack of community. He hates the use of usernames, for instance, and the anonymity they bring. If you don’t know a person’s name, how can you know them? To me, that’s just rubbish… although I get the point that usernames are an indication of the distance between players in the online game. Do you ever take enough time on site, on the forum communities that are such a key part – for many – of the online game, to become a part of the site, to be in that community?

For a lot of online players the answer is, sadly, no. And that is a shame. The websites are a tool to be used to play the game and, well, that’s it. But not for everyone. And is that really any different to the people who played a game in this zine, then that one, then another one when remote play was through the PBM wing of the Hobby? Or the person that played in the odd FTF tournament but never really hung around for the drinks afterwards? Not really.

You’ll always find people for whom the community aspect is at least as important as the game playing. That’s as true in one wing of the Hobby as any other. I can see the community on webDip and Playdip. I can see the differences between the two communities too, sometimes the animosity, but I also think that you could lift a player who is truly part of webDip’s community because it is a community, and transport them into Playdip’s and they’d be just as ‘at home’ (and vice versa, by the way).

Here’s the thing, though: despite the aspects that Doug and I would disagree on, the interview between these two Diplominati of our great Hobby was great. Perhaps less so if you haven’t got into the history of the Hobby that the two have lived through, but I’d challenge anyone to not have been made to think about things in this section of the episode.


The final section of the broadcast was new. Called “Two Way Draw” I thought, hoped, that it would be a discussion on this horror of the game. It wasn’t… but it was enjoyable anyway.

I’m used to this section of the show being a longer discussion on a topic. With the Feb 23 episode this has changed and has become a series of short head-to-head debates about a number of issues. I’m not sure whether this is sustainable – are there that many topics in the Hobby? Possibly… I tend to focus on the issues that matter to me. We’ll see. This section may not be a permanent change; we’ll see.

Anyway, David Hood was joined by Jordan Connors, Playdip’s own Conq. There were a number of topics. One of the guys would give their opinion, then the other would counter. There would be a little back and forth, and then they’d move on. Short, sharp debates; the Diplomacy Briefing of Dip debates.

I found myself agreeing with one of them on some subjects, the other on others. Which is good. It must mean my opinions are pretty well-balanced overall and *cough*, by extension, that I must be right in what I think *cough*. But you all knew that already, I know.

I was surprised that Jason argued that Draw-Based Scoring was not a good reflection of the play in favour of SC count and by his dismissal of the Rulebook as an outdated document in some respects (based on David’s assertion that DBS is founded on the rule that you win, you draw, or you lose, for example).

I’m not sure that the stances the two took were completely consistent with their own opinions all the time but it made for an interesting watch. And it was all the more intriguing as it had David as the representative of the FTF hobby, while Jason stood for the online hobby.

Anyway, enough of this – go watch it.

There’s one thing I’ll say about this episode. When it was over I thought I had to write a post about it. Why? It was, for me, that good. The “Two Way Draw” segment was refreshing, although I think I wouldn’t like to see it replace the meatier discussions they’ve had in the past. And it’s always good to listen to the thoughts of people who have become Diplominati. Made me realise that I’d like to do more opinion pieces myself.

The SIZE MATTERS Scoring System

Yeh, I know – another scoring system, and another of my designs. Well, if at first you don’t succeed…

I’ve designed the Size Matters system to score tournaments. The idea is that it is a hybrid system (of which I’ve been pretty scathing in the past, but one which places draw sized scoring at it’s heart (as all my scoring systems do).

So, how does it work?

  • A solo is worth 210 points initially. Everyone else scores 0 before the modifier is applied.

Any player that ends the game with SCs when a game ends in a solo, has the number of SCs multiplied by a modifier to score points.

The modifier is based on a comparison based on Supply Centre count. I’ve said before how much I dislike SC count as a basis for scoring Diplomacy as it really has no place in the game, but I’ve come to recognise that, in a tournament, there has to be some differentiation to separate tied scores based on DBS.

  • The starting point is the Base SC score, which is based on 34/n, where n is still the number of players in a draw. So, in a 3-way draw, the Base SC score is 34 ÷ 3 = 11.33; a 5-way draw would be 34 ÷ 5 = 6.8.

Why this formula? Well, 34/n provides the average number of SCs that would be held if all surviving powers had an equal share of SCs at the end of the game. This is needed to find a comparison between each player’s SC Score and the Base SC score for the game.

  • Next, find the modifier by taking the player’s SC score and multiplying by the base SC score. So, if a player ended on 5 SC, and five players ended with SCs, modifier would be 5 ÷ 6.8 = 0.74.
  • Finally, multiple the number of SCs the player ended the game on by the modifier. So ending on 5 SCs the player’s score would be 5 x 0.74 = 3.7.

Note that, if a player finished on more SCs than the average number of SCs held when the game ends in a draw, then they’ll score more than the number of SCs they held. So, in a game which was lost and 5 players ended the game on SCs, the base score is 6.8; if a player ended on 10 SCs their modifier would be 10 ÷ 6.8 = 1.47; their final score would then be 10 x 1.47 = 14.7.

If the game ends in a draw, points are initially awarded such that:

Draw sizeScore

For all scores, the formula is 210/n (where n = number of players in the draw) except for the 7-way draw. I don’t think any tournament game should really end in a 7-way draw but I’ve learned enough about these games recently to recognise that they do, so I suppose there should be some recognition of that.

These, then, are the base scores, which are then modified to give the points earned from a game.

The modifier is based on a comparison based on Supply Centre count. I’ve said before how much I dislike SC count as a basis for scoring Diplomacy as it really has no place in the game, but I’ve come to recognise that, in a tournament, there has to be some differentiation to separate tied scores based on DBS.

  • The starting point is the Base SC score, as described above.
  • Next, find the comparison between each power’s SC Score and the Base SC score using s/B, where s = the number of SCs held at the end of the game, and B = the Base SC score. This produces the Modifier.

If the game has ended in a 5-way draw, the Base SC score is 6.8. A player who finished the game on 12 SCs would calculate their modifier as 12 ÷ 6.8 = 1.76.

  • Finally, use the value in the step above, the modifier, to calculate the player’s points using D x m, where D = the draw-size score and m = the modifier. However, a player’s score can never be reduced by more than 1/7 of the Draw score.

So, in a 4-way draw, the player’s DSS score is 52.5; if the player finishes on 12 SCs the modifier is 1.41, so the player scores 52.5 x 1.41 = 74.03 points for the game. If a player finishes on 3 SCs, the modifier is 0.35; the player’s score based on the modifier would be 18.38 which is much smaller than 6/7 of 52.5, so the player’s score is 45.

One aspect of this system is that it rewards players who finish on more SCs than the average. For those who finish on fewer SCs than the average, the modifier could penalise them hugely, especially if there’s a big gap between the highest SC score and the lowest. This is why the modifier isn’t used if the modifier would reduce their score by more than 6/7. In other words, the number of points a player takes from a drawn game cannot be lower than 6/7 of the DSS score

If you wanted to focus more on SC count, you could, of course, remove this final rule of the SM scoring system!

This system may not provide a sufficient level of differentiation so I suggest using the Comparative Points Difference system as a way to differentiate between points, and perhaps head-to-head scoring.

So, what happens when a solo is won? Well, effectively, two 2-way draws would normally match a solo combined with an elimination. Now, I’m all for celebrating a solo so, what I’d do, is place a soloist above a player who secures two 2-way draws automatically. However, if you wanted, you could calculate the CPD for a solo and use that. It will certainly add a sizeable number of points to the soloist! Alternatively, where points are tied, the initial differentiation could be CPD scoring, the head-to-head, first.

You’ll also notice, though, that a 2-way draw scores a maximum score of 105 points anyway. There’s nothing to be gained by using a modifier in this scenario. Which is fine by me: a 2-way draw is not something that should happen in Diplomacy!

Pact of Steel

Powers: Italy / Germany

Stage: (Early Game) Mid-game

Primary target(s): France; Austria-Hungary

Also known as… ???

Associated 3-way alliances: Central Triple; Guillotine; Sublime Triple; The Viennese Waltz

The fact that there are no other known names for this alliance tells us that this is not a usual Early Game alliance, although there is an opening associated with it that is, if played, unpredictable. (If you do know any other names for this one, please let me know in the comments.)

I don’t usually start with a note about naming an alliance but, as it breaks my usual rules for naming things (isn’t that what rules are for?), I’m going to do so here.

I’ve named this alliance after the WWII alliance between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This is simply because there is no other historic alignment between the two countries (outside of multi-national ones). I might have gone for something Roman but, frankly, Rome didn’t expand very much into Germania, so that’s a little useless.

Anyway, let’s quickly look at the one aspect of the I/G alliance that is actually useful in the Early Game: the opening that I call the Munich Muddle. Here are the relevant moves (non-key orders in square brackets]:

SPRING 1901Germany: A Mun-Ruh, A Ber-Kie, [F Kie-Den]; Italy: A Ven-Tyl, A Rom-Ven, F Nap-ION

FALL 1901Germany: A Ruh S Kie-Hol, [F Den-Swe]; Italy: A Tyl-Mun, F ION-Tun, A Ven-Pie

WINTER 1901Germany: A(Ber); Italy: F(Rom), A(Ven)

From here, Germany works to get Italy into Burgundy, and Italy attacks France.

Germany is giving Italy Munich with the agreement that Italy will then vacate as soon as possible. Italy’s fleets attack the western Med spaces and France finds themselves having to hurriedly defend. There is an element of surprise with this, especially if France can be persuaded to support Italy into Munich via a false Savoy alliance, but this is lost when Italy moves to Piedmont in F01 and builds a fleet in Rome.

In truth, though, this opening needs to isolate France (England either joins a Guillotine alliance or is persuaded to not interfere) AND Austria-Hungary is aware of what Italy is doing, either within a Central Triple or an Adriatic alliance; after all, the Italian S01 moves look very much like a typical F01 attack on Trieste. At the very least, Austria needs to be persuaded to not order F Tri-Ven in S01.

It’s easy for the Munich Muddle to stall. France can block A Mun-Bur pretty easily, even with a supporting German army in Ruhr. And, if England isn’t along for the ride via the Guillotine, they’re not going to want to see Germany and Italy causing a French collapse without getting some piece of the Garlic bread.

Another possible Early Game alliance between Germany and Italy could see them cooperating to attack Austria-Hungary, of course. Given that the prevailing wisdom is that Germany should stay out of Austria in the Early Game this is unlikely. Austria-Hungary protects Germany from incursion from the other side of the Neutral Zone (the line of non-SC spaces diagonally stretching from the south-west to the north-east of the board that separates the West/North from the East/South).

While the Pact of Steel might form in the Early Game, then, it really doesn’t come into its own until the Mid-game, when Germany and Italy can more effectively tell where they want to work together. This allows Italy to secure themselves from French attack, and Germany builds the northern alliance they want to utilise. The usual Early Game aspect would see Germany not interfering with Italy going after Austria, preferably with Turkey’s help rather than Russia’s, and Italy not threatening Germany from Tyrolia.

In the Mid-game, France is still often the main target. If France has made typical growth in the Early Game, they could well be looking to push fleets into the Med. Given that this brings these fleets too close for Italian comfort, cooperation with Germany seems to be the solution. And, if France isn’t doing this, Italy might well want to take advantage of it!

Given how big a threat France is in the game anyway, Italy should have plans to deal with that, and the Pact of Steel is the most useful solution alongside the Kraken (I/T alliance). The Kraken alliance, though, will almost certainly involve Turkish fleets pushing west at this point and, well, that seems to replace the French threat with a Turkish one. Compared to this, Italy and Germany are somewhat insulated from each other.

Again, Austria-Hungary could be the target Mid-game. If Italy has prospered through an alliance with Austria, then the chances are that the two are fairly well-balanced. If Italy has ambitions beyond being stuck in the high single-digit SC count, then they’ll need to attack Austria at some point. And, if Germany wants to cross the Neutral Zone, Italy is the easiest power to work with (possibly alongside Turkey if Russia is Germany’s target).

All this being said, the Pact of Steel is probably better as a defensive alliance. The two powers, forming a vertical line from north to south across the board, can work together to protect themselves from defeat via an attack from the west or the east. This suggests that the Pact of Steel is best as a way of preventing a loss – surviving – in a game where a Leviathan or Juggernaut is threatening to sweep the board.


The Savoy Alliance

Powers: France / Italy

Stage: Early game (and beyond)

Primary target(s): Germany

Also known as… The Ultimate; The Napoleon

Associated 3-way alliances: The Spaghetti Western; The Swiss Star: The Oktoberfest; The Trident

This isn’t a common Early Game alliance, to be fair, simply because there isn’t very much the two powers can do together, even though they are neighbours. France tends to be invested in the Northern Triangle, whereas Italy is usually kept busy in the Southern Quadrangle. (Yes, I called it a Quadrangle; sue me.)

Given their diverse areas of interest, it is much more common for Italy and France to arrange a NAP (Non-Aggression Pact) and a DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) in Piedmont. Even then, it’s fairly common for neither player to worry overly much about either. Italy moves west so seldom that France isn’t worried about A Ven-Pie, and France is almost always more concerned with Burgundy or taking all of Iberia to be interested in A Mar-Pie.

Every once in a while, though, the Franco-Italian alliance may form with the aim of attacking Germany. It can be a pretty well-hidden alliance, if only because nobody expects the Savoy. Italy moves A Ven-Tyl (often with A Rom-Ven) and France orders A Mar S Par-Bur. Germany finds that Munich is neighboured by Italian and French units but shrugs: Whatchu gonna do?

At this point, Germany may try inviting A Tyl-Mun, and either hope for A Bur-Mun, or try to instigate the order. Result: Italy and France bounce in Munich. Job solved; Germany builds A(Mun) in W01 and the threat’s gone.

If Germany is less cocky than this, as they should be, they’ll probably order an army to Munich, just to be on the safe side. This could mean missing a second build in W01 but, well, Munich’s safe.

If Germany is facing a Savoy alliance, though, Munich is far from safe! France or Italy will support the other into Munich and, even with an army build in Kiel/Berlin, Munich stays occupied.

Who gets Munich? Both France and Italy have good arguments to say that Munich goes to them. For France, Munich is the stepping stone to controlling northern Germany and the Low Countries. For Italy, it’s an important fifth unit (along with Tunis).

For me, Italy should be the player to get Munich. Italy’s gambled on non-aggression with Austria-Hungary to push north, which is a risk in itself. If Austria decides that this presents an opportunity, Italy is likely to need the extra build. Even if Austria doesn’t attack Italy, the next step for Italy is to concentrate their units east, either in Austria-Hungary or the Balkans.

On the other hand, France has Spain and Portugal in the bag. If the Savoy is to prosper, France will concentrate on a northern campaign; with an army in Burgundy and a friendly Italian army in Munich, Germany is going to find it hard to defend against a French attack unless they’ve got England onside.

Added to this is that, as Italy prospers in the light of the Savoy, France can build a decent argument for taking Munich later in the game. Whether Italy should allow this is questionable: it is their defence against a French stab; whether Italy can stop this is another thing altogether.

Here, then, is another weakness of the Savoy alliance: Italy’s comparative poor tactical position against a strong France, regardless of whether Italy takes Munich or not. Italy must prosper quickly elsewhere, using Munich as the springboard to attack Austria-Hungary usually. And they have to ensure that Turkey doesn’t grow as a result of Austrian weakness, as they’ll be pushing through the eastern Med waters.

The fact is that, once Italy has Munich, their attention has to move to the east. That army in Munich is often left to work with French forces moving aggressively towards Germany, and Italy rarely benefits much from French success. France may see fit to support A Mun-Ber once they have Belgium, Holland and Kiel, but this simply makes the two Italian armies in Germany reliant on French support and tolerance. This isn’t a great situation once France is free to stab… unless Italy has succeeded in securing all three Austrian SCs and can defend against France from the south-east.

On the other side of the coin, if France does support Italy into Kiel, they’re given Italy control of two German SCs that prevent further French expansion eastwards. This means France has to rely on fleet builds to overcome England, otherwise they’re boxed in. The only other solution is to push fleets into the western Med seas – which is, in itself, a challenge to Italy.

The only triple alliance that is clearly associated with this is the Spaghetti Western of France/Italy/England. This is incredibly bad news for Germany. England’s inclusion generally means Germany is doomed from the start. But it isn’t a great alliance for France, honestly. I mentioned above that France has to head north against England if they support Italy into Berlin (and make no mistake, Berlin should be an Italian target in a Savoy alliance eventually). With a Spaghetti Western, France is immediately boxed in and must be the player that snaps the pasta, moving against England or Italy, while trying to carry the alliance with the other power along with them. The problem is that the other power really shouldn’t go along with this because – guess what? – they’re next.

An alternative 3-way alliance to bolster the Savoy is the Fig alliance between France, Italy and Germany. In this case, Germany heads east in conjunction with Italy, and supports France against England. The problem the Fig has is that all three powers are more-or-less working independently in the Early Game and simply agreeing to cooperate passively.

Finally, a note on naming this alliance the Savoy.

The House of Savoy was the ruling house of following the unification of Italy. Its connection with France is that it originated in what became the French province of Savoie. Honestly, I could have stuck with the name I originally gave this alliance – the Napoleon – simply because, during the Napoleonic Wars, northern Italy was united as the Kingdom of Italy under the rule of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother. It was this, Napoleonic France’s intercession in Italy, that sparked nascent Italian nationalism and led to the ultimately failed rebellion by Italian nationalists against the Austrian Empire in 1848 but also to the successive War of Unification that lead to Italian unity in 1861. And another Napoleon – Louis Napoleon (or Napoleon III), Emperor of the French – was instrumental in giving Italian nationalists the opportunity to defeat the ailing Austrian Empire.

The only other name I’ve found for the I/F alliance, the Ultimate, is certainly an over-exaggeration!


The Leviathan

Powers: England / France

Stage: Early Game (and beyond)

Primary target(s): Germany, Russia

Also known as… The Entente Cordiale; The Western Juggernaut

Associated 3-way alliances: Western Triple; Spaghetti Western; Triple Entente

The E/F alliance is one of the most successful in the game. Given that it is often held to be a mistake, this is surprising.

In his book The Game of DiplomacyRichard Sharp says that E/F is an atrocious idea. Why? Because it favours France over England:

France is the only serious threat to England’s domination of the western seas. The fleet in Brest is more menacing to England than all the other hostile units put together. He may move it down to the south coast of Spain in 1901, leaving it unobtrusively pointing due east from the neighbourhood of Barcelona. Do not be deceived. A French attack on England can be mounted with lethal swiftness. Never mind that he has moved the fleet to southern Spain – unless you can see some definite use he can put it to down there, it’s a safe bet that it’ll be back before long. If Italy has his back turned on France, don’t imagine that France will gobble up this easy target: first he must neutralize the major threat, which is you.

For years I could not see any realistic plan for Anglo-French co-operation. Every idea foundered on the simple facts: England must occupy the Mediterranean to win, he must go through the Mid-Atlantic to get there, and none of this is going to amuse France at all.

“The Game of Diplomacy.” Sharp, R. Arthur Barker, 25 Jan 1979. Accessed from The Game of Diplomacy, Chapter 4 22 Jan 2023.

He’s speaking here from the perspective of England at the start of the game. From France’s point of view…

England is unequivocally an enemy in the long term. The threat a strong England poses to the French sea areas cannot be ignored. Because of the feeble English habit of becoming unprofitably enmeshed in a Scandinavian war, the eventual conflict is usually resolved quickly and terminally in France’s favour. The only error you need to guard against here is compla­cency: it is tempting to believe in England’s good intentions as he sails away into the midnight sun. Don’t: he probably won’t get a chance to attack you, but if he does he’ll take it. 

“The Game of Diplomacy.” Sharp, R. Arthur Barker, 25 Jan 1979. Accessed from The Game of Diplomacy, Chapter 10 22 Jan 2023.

Here is the major issue with the E/F alliance: England and France are natural enemies, in both Diplomacy and history. For England, France is the only power that can easily get behind you; for France, while England may not be Germany, England is in a unique position to drop their units south later in the game, while France is tied down in the south.

However, all of this theory is nothing more than theory; in reality, certainly in modern play, the alliance is known as the Leviathan (or the Western Juggernaut) for a reason.

If you’ve only heard of one alliance in Diplomacy, it’s probably the Juggernaut (yes, that is the correct way to spell it!). The Russo-Turkish alliance is renowned (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for rolling over the board – which explains the name, of course. Unstoppable.

The Leviathan alliance is, perhaps, not quite as potentially undeniable as the Jug but it’s pretty close, it seems. Despite the tension that exists as the game gets older, E/F seems to be successful.

We have to put this in context. The E/F alliance is very strongly represented in FTF and vFTF games. Online, where the players tend to be less experienced, it’s not quite as visibly successful.

The other reason the E/F alliance is so widely used in FTF and vFTF play is that it is a great tournament/league alliance. In these formats, scoring systems usually mean that gaining a decent number of SCs, possibly playing for a board-topping tie between the powers, will usually give a good result from the game. In a standard, one-off game, where players are more likely to be playing for the solo, while the Leviathan is an ideal way to start, it’s a problem later in the game.

The way this alliance can work is for England to concentrate mostly on building fleets while France focuses mostly on armies. France will need some southern fleets so that they can make progress in the Mediterranean and this can also cause some additional tension – England doesn’t like French fleets!

The two cooperate against Germany, certainly in the Early Game. Once Germany is eliminated (or weakened beyond recovery) then France is often left to finish Germany and move through the Med, while England will concentrate on Russia.

Having said that, England will often allow a decent number of units to push into Scandinavia. This is so they can focus on Germany’s northern most SCs – Denmark and Sweden – while also pushing through to St Petersburg. The chances are that England will also want to get an army in Stp.

The Anglo-French alliance may be the real alliance within false 3-way alliances. One such is the Western Triple (E/F/G), where Germany becomes the prey of the Leviathan as soon as they become a barrier to E/F success.

Another associated alliance is the Spaghetti Western (E/F/I). Italy’s involvement means a quicker breakthrough into Munich for someone (France or Italy – from Italy’s point of view it should be Italy!). As soon as possible, France is then often in a position to stab Italy, as the latter’s units are often concentrated in the east.

A stronger 3-way alliance associated with the E/F is the Triple Entente (E/F/R). In this alliance, Russia is separated enough from E/F that they aren’t as easy a target. Still, England is certainly in a position to do so. What tends to be more likely, though, is that the TE breaks down when France and Russia decide to sandwich England. As England, the only real way to protect yourself is to occupy Brest or St Petersburg… or both!

No matter what follows from the Leviathan alliance, it is clearly a successful one. Unlike the Juggernaut, where Italy, Austria, Germany and England all have a clear interest in stopping it, the only powers that are directly threatened by the Leviathan are Germany and Italy (possibly Russia, though it’s comparatively simple for Russia to block England’s progress if they see it coming). This means that Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Russia are often slow to see the Leviathan‘s threat.

In the end, France will need to attack England to win, in most cases; England will almost always need at least two French SCs (as well as Spain and Portugal) to win. The problem is that this alliance is often one that is difficult to break down from within.

Which brings us back to the warnings against it.


The Alliance List

I’ve had previous posts about the alliances in Diplomacy but I haven’t really looked at them in any great detail. To some extent, that’s because they depend very much on how players play them.

The idea for this extended series (very extended – it’s a bungee cord of a series!) is that I’ll look at every alliance that’s out there: 2-way alliances, 3-way alliances, and more (well, OK, one more).

This post will simply feature a list of posts. You’ll have to click on each link to find out what I think about the alliance.

I should say that, when I’ve named each alliance, which I probably have for each one, I’ve often used my own name. Not always, though; I’ve used names widely used in the Hobby where I know them. (I’m also going to state at this point that I know there’s an alliance out there called the Behemoth and I’m trying to find which one it is!)

2-way Alliances

England’s alliances

France’s alliances

Italy’s alliances

Germany’s alliances

Austria-Hungary’s alliances

Turkey’s alliances

Russia’s alliances

3-way alliances








Grand Alliance

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