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Subject: New to Diplomacy. What Version Should I Buy? rss

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Kurt Keckley
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My High School game club wants to tackle Diplomacy. There are more versions than I could count. Does the hive have any recommendations, know the differences between the editions?

Any help is appreciated.
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William Ford
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p38_Lightning wrote:
My High School game club wants to tackle Diplomacy. There are more versions than I could count. Does the hive have any recommendations, know the differences between the editions?

Any help is appreciated.


My first choice -- with nice metal pieces:


My second choice -- with the classic wooden pieces:


My third/fourth choice -- the current edition with cardboard pieces:


It's not that I dislike cardboard counters generally, but there are only two types of units in this game. Something 3-dimensional makes sense, and the 1999 edition's pieces are very nice.

I'm not sure about the 1992 Avalon Hill Deluxe edition, but that probably ranks above the current Wizards of the Coast edition too. Hence, the current edition is probably fourth on my list . . . at best.
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Don Lynch
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"What Version Should I Buy?"

None of them, if you want to keep your friends.

That said, I believe that they are all about the same for map and rules. The exception is "Colonial Diplomacy" by Avalon Hill, one of the many previous Diplomacy publishers. There are also many copycat games such as "Kamakura" and "Machiavelli".

Using an interactive variant of the Diplomacy system, the "Game of Thrones" board game by Fantasy Flight is excellent.

Don

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Crito wrote:
p38_Lightning wrote:
My High School game club wants to tackle Diplomacy. There are more versions than I could count. Does the hive have any recommendations, know the differences between the editions?

Any help is appreciated.


My first choice -- with nice metal pieces:


My second choice -- with the classic wooden pieces:


My third/fourth choice -- the current edition with cardboard pieces:


It's not that I dislike cardboard counters generally, but there are only two types of units in this game. Something 3-dimensional makes sense, and the 1999 edition's pieces are very nice.

I'm not sure about the 1992 Avalon Hill Deluxe edition, but that probably ranks above the current Wizards of the Coast edition too. Hence, the current edition is probably fourth on my list . . . at best.


I just finished up a game with my Modern Euro section, and I actually combined the most recent edition and the earlier Avalon Hill one with the plastic pieces. The most recent addition has by far the cleanest and easiest to read map, and it has nation flags to mark captured supply centers, but the pieces blend. I really like the way the plastic three dimensional pieces from the older AH version popped on the newer board. (And I kept an open sandbox game on Backstabber that I projected at the front of the room and updated during their negotiation sessions.)
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Bill Cook
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Honestly, whatever is cheapest and easiest to get. Nothing much has changed in the past 50 years. Plastic/wooden/metal pieces, different printing of the board, 2-fold vs 4-fold, etc. But all that is probably less important in Diplomacy than any other game. Modern rule printing is a bit easier to read.

Personally, I have affection for the wooden pieces, think the modern metal figures look silly and have never, ever liked the plastic star/anchor set. But as I said, it matter very, very little.
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EMBison wrote:
Honestly, whatever is cheapest and easiest to get. Nothing much has changed in the past 50 years. Plastic/wooden/metal pieces, different printing of the board, 2-fold vs 4-fold, etc. But all that is probably less important in Diplomacy than any other game. Modern rule printing is a bit easier to read.

Personally, I have affection for the wooden pieces, think the modern metal figures look silly and have never, ever liked the plastic star/anchor set. But as I said, it matter very, very little.


Yeah, I agree with Bill regarding the wooden pieces.

My first set was the AH version with the plastic pieces.
Works fine, the pieces are just not as attractive as the wooden pieces.

So... I bought a used copy of the game, with the wooden pieces.
(I then used the previous version as a duplicate game board over which the players could negotiate treaties in a separate room.)

But, I noticed that the game board was rather simplistic, and then I saw the 1961 version with the beautiful topographic map of Europe. (Being a Land Surveyor, this really caught my attention.) So, a few years later, a game store I occasionally visited had this version on sale, so I now own three versions of this game, (with the 1961 version being my primary game, and two others being secondary boards for negotiations in two separate rooms.)



Nice map, huh?!
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Love the wooden pieces. Best version in my humble opinion. 🐒
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markhelton wrote:



Nice map, huh?!


That is a beautiful map, and my favourite pieces too. Makes the inevitable table flip even more tragic.
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William Ford
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seanmac wrote:
I just finished up a game with my Modern Euro section, and I actually combined the most recent edition and the earlier Avalon Hill one with the plastic pieces. The most recent addition has by far the cleanest and easiest to read map, and it has nation flags to mark captured supply centers, but the pieces blend. I really like the way the plastic three dimensional pieces from the older AH version popped on the newer board. (And I kept an open sandbox game on Backstabber that I projected at the front of the room and updated during their negotiation sessions.)


Yes, the current map is well done, but did the plastic pieces look like these?



After a quick look through the images on BGG, which unhelpfully mixes all the editions together, this is the only clear picture I found of plastic pieces. The label for the photo says they are from the 1993 Spanish edition. Did the Avalon Hill edition use the same pieces?
 
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Sean McCormick
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Crito wrote:
seanmac wrote:
I just finished up a game with my Modern Euro section, and I actually combined the most recent edition and the earlier Avalon Hill one with the plastic pieces. The most recent addition has by far the cleanest and easiest to read map, and it has nation flags to mark captured supply centers, but the pieces blend. I really like the way the plastic three dimensional pieces from the older AH version popped on the newer board. (And I kept an open sandbox game on Backstabber that I projected at the front of the room and updated during their negotiation sessions.)


Yes, the current map is well done, but did the plastic pieces look like these?



After a quick look through the images on BGG, which unhelpfully mixes all the editions together, this is the only clear picture I found of plastic pieces. The label for the photo says they are from the 1993 Spanish edition. Did the Avalon Hill edition use the same pieces?



After a quick look through the images on BGG, which unhelpfully mixes all the editions together, this is the only clear picture I found of plastic pieces. The label for the photo says they are from the 1993 Spanish edition. Did the Avalon Hill edition use the same pieces? [/q]

Yes, the AH edition did. You can get copies of both cheaply--I think I paid $20 for the newest version and $5 for the older one, and I still had some extra pieces from my old copy lying around. Net result ended up looking like this--


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donlyn wrote:
"What Version Should I Buy?"

None of them, if you want to keep your friends.

Buying it won't cost you any friends...

devil
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I ran three Diplomacy games for my high school students last year. I have the AH version above with the wooden blocks and I have an enlarged version with a 3.5' x 3.5' map on foamcore with pushpins for the units. In the end, we ditched them and used jDip running on a laptop with a projector. I don't know how large your class is, but we had about 20 players on teams and the boards were just too small. Using the projector and laptop made the map accessible to everyone and made processing turns much faster.
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If I were ever to get back into Diplomacy, I'd want one from Games Research with the large single-fold board and wooden pieces (either the '61 or the '71 would serve). I was always glad I had that one whenever I saw other versions.
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Bill Dickerson
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"What Version Should I Buy?"

None of them, if you want to keep your friends.





I'm just passing this on......Credit for the image should go to
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On the one hand I regret that I sold my edition with nice pleasing wooden pieces; on the other hand it doesn't matter since I never really got it to the table. :/
 
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Kurt Keckley
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Thanks for all of the tips. I am heading to a game convention in a few weeks and will try to get a cheap copy there. From what you have shown me, I think I'd prefer an older copy. I really like the look of the wooded pieces.

It also appears that with all of the game design parts and old copies of Axis and Allies lying around my office, I could print and map and build my own copy rather easily. My high school gamers tend to lose game pieces and be a bit rough on games. This may be the way to go.

Thanks again!
 
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Robert Bracey
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You could always buy the map you like best and just order some wooden pieces from speilmaterial or somewhere similar.

The main differences are in how much time you allow for negotiation. Some groups give substantial periods between turns where players can disappear to other rooms and have long chats. I ran for a few years semi-regular games where we played a 'blitz' variant. In that all players have 5 minutes (or 10 minutes when starting out as you get faster over time) in which to negotiate and write orders. That means you play a year in about 20 minutes, so can come to a reasonably satisfying conclusion in a 3-5 hour game. It also tends to go a little easier on friendships because while back-stabbing happens it is a bit more frenetic and players are a little less invested.
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I ran several games of Diplomacy in my high school game club over the years. The components do not matter much. Go with whatever version you can get your hands on easily. Photocopy lots of paper maps to send out with your students.

1. I ran each game with one season per day (spring 1901 on day one, fall and winter 1901 on day 2, then spring 1902 on day 3, etc .
2. There was a deadline (at lunch to get moves in).
3. Negotiations were carried on all over the school until the next deadline.
4. Each country was run by a team of two (so that if one student was absent...the other could write down the orders anyways).
5. In random order, each team would pick their country.
6. We only played 4 years (8 turns) then declared a winner. The side with the most supply centers would win. In case of a tie, the side that picked their country later would win. (Typically Italy would win ties).

I found that playing 4 years made the game much better. It meant that on the last turn there were still usually 4 or 5 countries in the running to win. The other countries still had an army or two and had the fun of revenge! Also because the game ends after 8 turns, everyone wants to play again. When you play a much longer game everyone but the eventual winner loses interest. Also the real WWI ended after 4 years with most countries still intact.
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Bill Cook
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RobertBr wrote:
In that all players have 5 minutes (or 10 minutes when starting out as you get faster over time) in which to negotiate and write orders.


I'm having a panic attack thinking about trying to write orders in 5 minutes, much less squeeze in negotiation. Sounds fun
 
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Great game Diplomacy. Any version would be fine. All the rules are the same for each version.

Also consider online play. Chris Babcock used to run the best site, but he sadly no longer runs games.

I have heard good things about: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/

You can choose for turns to take 1, 2 or 3 days. All your friends could sign onto the same game.

At some point I intend to write a browser based Diplomacy and Machiavelli gaming system using modern technologies. I am about 60% there, but things have slowed down considerably due to a lack of sleep.
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jaa17 wrote:

At some point I intend to write a browser based Diplomacy and Machiavelli gaming system using modern technologies. I am about 60% there, but things have slowed down considerably due to a lack of sleep.


You mean like WebDiplomacy? Or are you thinking of something more sophisticated?

Chiming in here, I prefer the most recent map...cleaner, better looking. But I would order some euro style blocks and rectangles to replace the chits.

Great game, this.
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Robert Bracey
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EMBison wrote:
RobertBr wrote:
In that all players have 5 minutes (or 10 minutes when starting out as you get faster over time) in which to negotiate and write orders.


I'm having a panic attack thinking about trying to write orders in 5 minutes, much less squeeze in negotiation. Sounds fun


It is. I think both versions (one move a day and blitz) have their strengths, and they create slightly different experiences though for the OPs benefit they remain essentially the same game.

Edit: The other variant the OP should know about is 'gunboat' in which players do not negotiate, they just write orders. Negotiation now happens through placement of my pieces ("that fleet says get off my lawn"). I have not played bt no people who like it.
 
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RobertBr wrote:
You could always buy the map you like best and just order some wooden pieces from speilmaterial or somewhere similar.

The main differences are in how much time you allow for negotiation. Some groups give substantial periods between turns where players can disappear to other rooms and have long chats. I ran for a few years semi-regular games where we played a 'blitz' variant. In that all players have 5 minutes (or 10 minutes when starting out as you get faster over time) in which to negotiate and write orders. That means you play a year in about 20 minutes, so can come to a reasonably satisfying conclusion in a 3-5 hour game. It also tends to go a little easier on friendships because while back-stabbing happens it is a bit more frenetic and players are a little less invested.


That's tight. I usually give 15 minutes to negotiate and write orders, which lets you get through a year of game time in a period.
 
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If you or your school has access to a 3D printer, you could print small battleships and cannons (if the newer map is preferred). It would be a bit cheaper than buying wooden blocks. Although, the wooden pieces are certainly attractive!



I'm not fond of the tank, but surely there are cannon models out there.
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tucker8807 wrote:
If you or your school has access to a 3D printer, you could print small battleships and cannons (if the newer map is preferred). It would be a bit cheaper than buying wooden blocks. Although, the wooden pieces are certainly attractive!



I'm not fond of the tank, but surely there are cannon models out there.


It might be good for the land unit to rest on the ship. IIRC, the land units could be "on ship" (don't need to convoy directly from land to land spaces)... but I may be forgetting. I was forgetting.

Never mind.
 
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