For each country, I have attached a downloadable PDF (created by former world champion, Chris Martin) containing some of the more common openings as well as some tips on initial negotiation. I have also provided my personal recommended opening for a first-time player.
F Lon-Eng Cha
F Edi-Nth Sea
A Mar S Par-Bur
The Lepanto is a must-read for Italian opening strategy: http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resources/strategy/articles/lepanto.htm
F Sev-Bla Sea
F Ank-Bla Sea
FTF Diplomacy Tournament Tips:
Playing in a face-to-face Diplomacy tournament is significantly different from online play or even a house game. Here are some tips for beginners:
- Time management: Make sure you get your orders written in time- if you don’t, your orders will be invalid!
- Tip: Write down your units before starting to negotiate
- Tip: Opponents will try to drain your negotiating time by talking to you frivolously. Don’t let them do this! Leave the conversation if you need to.
- Know what your goals are: Often times, you’ll need to prioritize your goals if you want to come back home with some trophies. As the tournament goes on, you might even shift your goals. Does winning the tournament seem unlikely? Then maybe your goal should be to play for a Best Country. Do you need to protect your top score to keep your Best Country award? Then maybe you should try to eliminate that country from your board. Are you trying to win the tournament? Make sure that the other players with high scores on your board don’t do better than you do.
- Know what your opponent’s goals are: Similar to the last point, your enemies will also have goals in mind. By knowing what your enemies want, you can predict what they will do and use it to your advantage. Feel free to ask some of the following innocuous questions to try and figure out what each player wants:
- How do you feel about player X?
- What do you want to do in this game?
- Why did you do that?
- Understand the scoring system: There are many different scoring systems and each one will influence your play.
- Sum of Squares: Try to make sure that you have more supply centers than everyone else, and that the remaining supply centers are divided relatively equally among the other players. A large gap in supply centers between the first and second place player will result in a huge score difference.
- Carnage: Supply centers matter much less than your relative place. Try to make sure that you have more supply centers than everyone else in the game.
- Avoiding others is not a strategy (with exceptions): Unlike in online play, it is hard to avoid talking to your opponents as they can simply walk up to you and talk to you. If you are allies with someone, they will often expect to talk with you every turn. Thus, being able to lie with a straight face becomes an invaluable tool when concealing a stab. If you absolutely must avoid someone, consider turning in your orders early and going on an extended “bathroom break.”
- Talk to everyone: If you don’t, people will quickly figure out who you are allied with (since they can see you talking with others). By talking with everyone, even if only briefly, others won’t be able to easily tell who you are working with. Plus, you will often discover some interesting information by talking with others, even if they are on the other side of the map.
- Stay cool: Getting emotional will often backfire by turning others against you.
Articles on strategy: http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/resources/strategy.htm
These articles are a great resource for players (both beginners and advanced players). There is an article for almost every opening imaginable.
Diplomacy World Zine: http://www.diplomacyworld.net/
This is a consistently solid magazine about Diplomacy.
Diplomacy Pouch: http://uk.diplom.org/pouch/Zine/S2020M/
This is an amazing online resource featuring articles from the Diplomacy community. The link will take you to the edition that this article is featured in.
World Championships 2016 Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbwng27eI0e3O9rIFcXp_Bvr97TNgAsQw
These videos are a fantastic way to see how FTF Diplomacy is played at a high level of competition. It features excellent commentary from former world champion, Chris Martin. The other strategy videos on his channel are great as well.