Diplomacy Observations From A Newbie

Stephen Lepley

It was the Internet magazine which brought Diplomacy-by-email to my attention. I suspect that you can thank the folks at Internet for a lot of the more recent newbies.

I proudly possess many common "newbie" handicaps -- never played the game before, am fairly new to the net, have no usenet access, have no personal contact with other net users. So, how did this raw newbie come to command the gloriously losing Italians in the EFF game interact?

Things That Helped

The dip faq was very helpful. Through it I was able to locate judges, register on a judge, contact Avalon Hill, obtain mapit, etc.

Avalon Hill
They processed my order, accepted my visa card, and got the game to me (with that vital rule book) in good time.

The DIP-L Gateway.
This gateway is a life saver for me. Without it I have no access to the newsgroup. Through dip-l, I was able to call for help and follow advice which led me into a game.

Observing a few moves in one game gave me the chance to SIGNON to a game, recieve game output, and play with a few of the judge commands. Observing for a few turns was helpful.

Joining A Game For Newbies
An inspired game master started a newbie game (interact) and generated a lot of helpful press for his flock of beginners.

In a three ring binder I have, among other things,
  • the FAQ,
  • the judge intro packet,
  • email from the newbie game describing how to do things, and
  • the Diplomacy rule book.
  • When something goes wrong or I have a question, the answer is often right beside me in the binder. That helps!

    First Impressions

    The email Diplomacy format is great!
    My old gaming pals no longer live nearby but there is a whole world of gamers I can now compete with via email and the internet.

    Diplomacy moves faster than I expected.
    By that I mean, it seems to me that you have to become aggressive almost immediately with a close neighbor or you'll probably wind up the way I have in my first game.

    I am impressed with all the dedicated people in the game.
    Those who keep judges, master games for us players, maintain openings lists, set up the usenet email gateway, or work on the FAQ. There seem to be a lot of hardworking dippers dedicated to maintaining the hobby and expanding it in more areas than I have mentioned.

    The newsgroup really adds "flavor" to the hobby.
    This is in addition, of course, to its many and varied practical uses.

    So, that is my story. How one newbie got started and some of his impressions. I'm also making a list of strategic advice for myself based on my first failures, sucesses, and what others have done in my first game that worked and didn't work.

    Diplomacy anyone?

    Stephen ("Italy is your friend") Lepley
    Montague, Massachusetts, USA
    ( [email protected])

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