Jorge Zhang

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54th post

September 4, 2018

Hey everyone! About a month and a half ago I decided to try out blogging by making a blog post every day. It’s been great so far and I am planning on continuing daily posts- but I have made the decision to not make posts on weekends. This way the quality of posts hopefully won’t decline as I will run out of content slower. Weekends are also generally more difficult for me schedule-wise. Anyway, I thought I’d talk a bit about my¬†weekend at Weasel Moot XII, a Diplomacy tournament in Chicago (link). In my first round I drew Turkey. Turkey is pretty isolated country, which means that it is good defensively but can have trouble “getting out of the box”. This was especially true in the game that I played.

In this game I decided to work with Russia since he opened to Galicia and the Italy-Austria relationship had been strained. England and France on the other hand had developed a strong alliance and were rolling over Germany. Seeing this, I began talks with France, pointing out that he should consider betraying England. Eventually, France does, which leaves the door open for Italy and Russia (Austria was on one supply center) to take territory from England, France, and Germany. That’s when Italy makes a pitch that changes the course of the game. He pitches that I do nothing for the rest of the game: holding my units and not attacking anyone.

This initially sounded like the worst possible deal I could take. However, it actually was very smart. Italy and Russia can only take English, French, and German territory if I leave them alone. So I do, and I spend the entire game sitting in place. In exchange, I asked for them to eventually feed me supply centers to bring me equal to them in score. We end the game on 10-10-10-4, leaving the round with solid scores.

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My second round I played as Italy, which I reflectively didn’t play very well. I went to Piedmont in 01 because I knew Germany was going to Burgundy and England was going to the Channel. However, France supported Paris to Burgundy, which froze the attack cold. I negotiated with France to leave Piedmont and go to Tyrolia. I get crafty and build a third army instead of a second fleet. Reflectively, I definitely should have built the fleet. I send my armies to Bohemia, but Austria sees this coming and bounces me. Rather than get entangled further, I decide to cut my losses by having Austria dislodge my army in Tyrolia and rebuild it as a fleet. It ends up being a big waste of time, and Austria and I end up going after Turkey. Things change when Austria stabs Russia and I have the opportunity to grow off of him. I do this and the game is in this state:

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Several draw votes fail, and it is 11:30 pm. I can’t stay for longer since the game could continue for a long while, and I live pretty far from the tournament location. So I decide to get a sub but my score becomes 0 for the round. This is unfortunate since I would have been in the top seven (fourth, given my sub’s score for the round) had I not left.

My third game was pretty entertaining. France and I had failed to gain any traction against Germany due to unfortunate guesses and a mis-order. I feel that France will betray me soon so I negotiate a convoy of France’s army from Belgium to Sweden.

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To repay me for convoying him into Sweden, France convoys his own army into Wales in the fall and takes London in the next spring. I tell him that he can have London and that I will cover Edinburgh, so he ends up supporting Belgium with the English Channel instead of supporting London to hold (I take it back), while Germany pops Skaggerak to get rid of the fleet. This gives me a build! I build an army and spend most of the rest of the game with 3 armies on the island.

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In the end, I get convoyed to Holland to help defend Germany/France, and end the game on 4 armies. Not bad, given how close I was to being eliminated! Still, I made many errors in the early game that could have resulted in a better result.

Overall, it was a fun tournament, and I ended up getting a plaque for best Turkey! In fact, Italy and Russia from my first board also got best countries for Italy and Russia, so that board worked out well for all of us.

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Also, before I forget to post them, here are some two-player play test photos for Dagers High. In one of the play tests I decided to try out a variant on the Integrity rules. Some event cards and Coding Club have integrity penalties, and it is possible to have 0 Integrity and therefore not be able to play those event cards or purchase that club. Because that can result in a situation where a player can not take their turn, (especially with a crafty player graff-ing an integrity penalty card to their opponent) we decided to play a game where you could play those events anyway and the integrity penalty would not apply. It quickly became clear that¬†several cards were a bit too strong without the Integrity penalty though and I don’t think 0 Integrity should be rewarded. In the case that a player does reach 0 Integrity they would have to try and avoid drafting cards that reduce their Integrity and/or discarding cards that do.

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