Stalemate Lines Again?

Matthew Self

While soliciting feedback on my Library of Diplomacy Tactics, several reviewers suggested adding a section on stalemate lines. Although a bit more strategic in scope than the tactics I had covered thus far, everyone felt that understanding stalemate lines represented a significant watershed in mastering Diplomacy (rather like the breakthrough to shodan, to continue the Go analogy).

Understanding stalemate lines is almost always what pushes a player up a notch.
--Jamie Dreier

There was only one problem -- I had no idea what a stalemate line was myself! Fortunately, someone pointed me at Mark Nelson's archive of articles on stalemate lines, Stalemates A to Y, which I proceeded to devour. There is an enormous amount of material here, representing hundreds -- or more likely thousands -- of hours of research over the last 25 years. I was overwhelmed. I was also struck by the sense of rediscovering a forgotten landscape that had already been carefully charted by past explorers. Who were these men whose words I was reading?

It quickly became obvious that instead of trying to write an inadequate summary of what I had just learned, I should instead republish Mark's archive in The Diplomatic Pouch to make it more readily accessible. In the graphical medium of the Web, adding maps was an obvious imperative.

Here, then, is the new and improved Stalemates A to Y for your reading pleasure!

I have thus far resisted all temptation to search for more stalemate lines, or to add my own commentary about what they're good for and how to use them. I am proud, however, of the new Visual Index to Stalemate Positions that I have added. The sheer volume of material necessitates a better indexing system to help you find the items that you need.

Matthew Self
([email protected])

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