Ryan R
United States
South Carolina
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Way back in the spring of 1995, as a high school freshman, my history and English class was combined. 60 students, 2 teachers, double the length, etc, etc...

Toward the end of the second semester, our history teacher put together our "WWI Simulation." It was only after going through this week long exercise did I learn about Diplomacy.

Our history teacher divided us up into teams of 8 or 9 people per country. We elected a leader and the rest of the people were diplomats and ambassadors. Each country had a set of diplomatic achievements to accomplish (and had to keep these secret from the other teams), in addition to military objectives, and just plain ole winning the game. We were scored at the end of each round/day based on military and diplomatic objectives completed. Some were worth 5 points, some were worth 10 points.

As luck and fate would have it, I was part of Germany and was elected leader. My diplomats were awesome. Those that were not into the game did exactly what I told them to. It was glorious. My friend, and fierce competitor at games, Tom, was the leader of Russia. Our other friend Adam was stuck with France.

Tom regularly kicked my butt at M:TG. However, since we were playing against the class, we decided to team up and take them all down.

This plan did not work because of the "Diplomatic objectives" and military objectives each country had to accomplish. Our teacher had engineered these objectives to prevent something like this from happening.

In the end, it was Germany, Turkey, and Austria-Hungary against the rest of them. Classic WWI.

I forget the specifics of each round/days' worth of playing. I do remember Turkey and Germany ended #1 and #2 respectively, after the final round. (Of course Germany had be #1 the entire simulation...)

Russia (Tom's Team) got molly whopped, BAD. They ended with 2 or 3 armies all in Scandinavia. Something really sorry. Austria-Hungary ended with 2 armies and 4th or 5th place. Adam (France) for some reason had a falling out with England. (Think the falling out had to do with school yard cliques.)

And, the only reason Turkey won was due to an end round diplomatic objective worth 10 points. They beat Germany by 5 points. If Turkey had followed my direction, as all good puppets are supposed to, devil Germany would have won. But whatever, we still triumphed as a team in the end.

I'll have to get the rules our teacher used and the objectives. One big deviation from the standard Diplomacy rules was that when an army was at a port and needed to move, it became a navy.



My next time playing was in college. Dave really wanted to win. It was his game and he loved playing it. So we ground him into the dirt as soon as possible.
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Bill Eldard
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Burke
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Sounds like a fun and educational exercise.

I'm assuming that if the teacher introduced historical objectives for the respective powers, that not only included territorial objectives, but political objectives as well. For example, a British objective would be preventing particular terrorities from falling into opposing hands, such as Belgium to which it was treaty bound to aid. Austria-Hungary would have to take Serbia (the historical objective that sparked WW1).

Do you feel like the class -- including the less engaged students -- learned something about WW1 from this exercise?
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Ryan R
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South Carolina
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Oh yes. The less engaged students did get into it. Wow, that was over 17 years ago. And I remember my ambassadors coming back reporting that they have accomplished this treaty or that treaty. They were super excited.

Durng the resolution/scoring phase, we all sat together as our "country" facing the big board. Our teacher had the Diplomacy map covering and entire chalkboard. It was huge. Also had to play in the cafeteria because the countries each needed their own work space and to allow the ambassadors freedom of movement.

Yes. The military objectives did align with WWI as you rightly posted about. If my memory serves, once you accomplished a military objective and held it, your team was awarded points each turn for holding it. So, A-H holding Serbia was worth 10 points per round. I vaguely remember our A-H team losing Serbia. And yes, Italy did switch sides. However, when Italy switched in our simulation, we made sure they paid dearly for it.

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