Diplomacy

Quite simply, the best board game ever invented, I was first introduced to it by an IBM colleague in Manchester. I played 2 games and thoroughly enjoyed it, although it's not a game that you can play to a meaningful result in less than 3 or 4 hours.

The game is based on a map of Europe at the turn of the century with each player playing one of the 7 major European powers. Your objective is to use your armies and fleets to take over Europe. Unlike other board games there's no luck because there's no dice. All moves depend upon co-ordination with the other players. To win you have to get others to help you, but to win, you also have to stab them so that they can't win ! If you think you'd enjoy being a devious, sweet-talking, scheming, ingratiating, double-dealing, back-stabbing b-----d (and all at the same time) then this is definitely the game for you. You'll soon find out whether you're a wolf in sheep's clothing or a lamb for the slaughter.

I re-discovered the game in 1998 on the Internet and since then I've been playing by e-mail. E-mail suits the game perfectly because it overcomes the dual problems of getting 7 players and of a single game taking quite a long time. You can communicate with the other players anywhere in the world and there are even automated referees (judges) which can adjudicate the moves (typically once a week).

I entered the World Masters championships in 1999 and progress was unbelievably good - I made it to the Final but I didn't win. In 2000 I lost in the semi-final. There was no tourney in 2001 and in the 2002-4 event I'm into the semi-final. Links:

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