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Australia, New Zealand, Diplomacy Australia, New Zealand, Diplomacy

DAA Rag #5

Newsletter of the Diplomacy Association of Australia
Issue #5
August 1997



The views expressed in Forum articles are not necessarily those held by the DAA. It will be used to float various ideas on changes to various aspects of the hobby, to see what the reaction is from members of the DAA.

Some of the articles herein are reprints or summaries of discussions occurring on the mail server set up by Bob Blanchett.

Email Tournaments

I know that there is a email tournament on the oz judge but what about a DAA supported Australian Email Tournament, either through a judge or run by a GM? Any number of rounds could be played with full press. The games could be played over a month or so. With ftf tournaments low on numbers due to travel or job restrictions this would be an idea way of having a large "board rating". I'd expect the number of people interested would exceed a ftf tournament. It would be a good way of including people (like myself) who have budget restrictions (ie. students) of playing in a Dip tournament with out the costs of travel (ie From WA or NT to the eastern states tournaments). ONE of these tournaments could be held each year. Thus having a National PBEM Champion.

Could the DAA include this tournament as a DAA sactioned tournament which awards Bismark Cup Points? With the advent of Email and the number of people on it this surely should be considered.

If only one email tournament was held a year this would not retract from the normal ftf tournaments. The Bismark cup champion would still need to attend the majority of the ftf tournaments as well.

If no one else is interested I would run this year's tournament (with or without Bismark points).
Dave Brown

Bismark Cup

I have just revisited our last 3 exchanges. I now come to believe that, in effect, there is not much difference between my views and John's.

John wrote:
"I would argue that the DAA should affiliate:

  • a purely Colonial Diplomacy tournament
  • a mixed tournament, where players could choose whether to play Diplomacy, Colonial or Machiavelli
  • a tournament where six player games are allowed
  • an "invitational" tournament.
I do not accept the notion that DAA Affiliation equals Bismark Cup eligibility and vice versa. The normal goal of the DAA should be to affiliate all tournaments (within reason) but this should NOT equate to automatic Bismark Cup eligibility."

Clarification here John. I was talking about DIPLOMACY TOURNAMENTS, I thought that was clear. None of your first 3 examples are straight/normal/standard "Diplomacy" (nor is Gunboat) and the 4th is questionable as a "tournament". So of course the DAA should & would affiliate all those events (what does affiliation entail anyway?). But they would not be affiliated as 'Diplomacy Tournmts'; a DAA Committee responsible for ratings would therefore not count them into Bismark/Masterpts. You & I arrive at the same result.

John wrote:
"Ratings and other such functions are as good and as respected as the effort put into them by the person running them. Let us say for example that Harry Kolotas started a new CTPRS (Current Tournament Player Rating System). Would you argue that if CTPRS became a success the DAA should take it over?"

No. But I think Harry should consider handing it over; and DAA should consider accepting it. This is to do CTPRS a favour. But Harry would still be the custodian! See below.

John wrote:
"Work, responsibility and power are better spread around, not centralised where some power mad maniac can wreak havoc, or (more likely) some apathetic future DAA Officers can allow it all to slide into nothing."

Of course it is to be spread around. And maniacal presidents can be fired at a gen mtg. And when I say the DAA, I am not talking about the President. I am talking about other Officers plus the members themselves. Aren't these the people who should have a say, instead of my next door neighbour who now claims that he is the Bismark custodian?

Another argument: Remember that Bismark & Masterpts are published on the Official DAA website and in the DAA Rag. DAA is giving those ratings the Quality Assurance 'ticks' so to speak. Is it not logical then that the DAA should audit & control the standards that Bismark/ Masterpts use?

In practice John, there are only small (but important) differences between your 'Custodian Model' (ie having a custodian handing over to another, who runs and regulates the ratings) and my 'DAA Committee Model'.

If there is a DAA committee for ratings (incl. 1. The President, 2. the Custodian, 3. a third DAA member), the day-to-day running of the Bismark/ Masterpts would still be in the hands of the Custodian. However with the following checks:

  1. the custodian himself will need to be a DAA member;
  2. the custodian cannot change the rules without going through the DAA;
  3. the committee of 3, not the custodian alone, will decide what ARE 'Diplomacy Tournaments' for the purpose of these ratings.
  4. the choice of who shall be the next custodian will have to be made by DAA members.
All very reasonable don't you think?

Consider this: Say a zine editor like Andrew Goff declared as the custodian; then start to bend the rules as he likes; then calculate the ratings, publish them and distribute them as the correct ratings. In my system, we can stand up and say that his ratings are bulldust and here are the official DAA ratings. In your model, it would just be a yelling match.

(Tournament affiliation is a separate issue.)

I know this is a little boring for many people. But this now requires at least a comment from Bill, Stephen and Ian. Not asking people to take sides; tell me I'm crazy if you want.
Tristan Lee

Well, It's me again. The newbie. I'm gonna bug the crap out of you all and stick my nose in. Brandon seems to be pushing something that I agree with. A combined ratings system for ftf and pbem. Not necessarily the Bismark cup or Master points system, but maybe something completely different. From what little I've seen of ozdip and PBEM, I'd like the following:

  1. A PBEM independent FTF points system (Bismark Cup sounds perfect)
  2. A FTF independent PBEM rating system (could be very hard to administer, but would be worth it IMO)
  3. A combined rating system, for those who play both or can only play one to try and compare themselves to other hobbyists. Now I realise that they are very different forms of the hobby, but they are still the same game, still have basically the same rules, and they have things like decathlons an athletics, so why not do something similar in Diplomacy?
I'd love to play FTF, but like I said before, it's nigh on impossible for me to attend a tournament due to several factors (I'm also getting married in Jan, so I've got lots to organise there as well). This means I can watch as some of you guys play and score well in ratings systems, but can't join in myself. I'm playing my first EM dip game at the moment, and I love the game, but it would be that much better if I new that my result in this game would count towards some kind of championship. Basically, I WANT A PBEM RATING SYSTEM IN AUST/NZ!!! NOW!!! (oops, sorry, looks like I've learnt to throw tantrums from my 4 year old sister...) - anyway, remember, I'm an inexperienced player, or newbie. I'm the type of person you veterans are supposed to be getting into the game, so the hobby grows, and so you've got more people to rip to shreds in PBEM & FTF... :-) good luck.
Micha Wotton

Please don't think this is DAA bashing or anything like it, "the DAA" could just as easily be substituted with anything else, such as the AFL, Andrew Geraghty, Ken's wife Kathy etc.

Bismark and Masterpoints exist separately from the DAA, they came into existence and have been excepted by Diplomacy players without the input, direction or control of the DAA. They will continue to be in existence and to be accepted whatever the DAA "decides" or even whether the DAA continues to exist or not.

Tasks like the Bismark and Masterpoints are done because people want to do them. It doesn't take the DAA to bring them into existence, nor to make them happen, the people who do things will continue to do them no matter what the DAA says or does.

John, Mat Gibson, Mike Gibson(?) begat the original Bismark Cup. John and Harry begat the Bismark Cup system as it stands. Ken begat the Masterpoints system. They are now accepted by interested players as good systems. Players give the systems importance by playing to win/improve their standings in the systems. It is because they are accepted systems that the DAA now accepts them as part of a hobby "organisation" and "affiliation" system.

It was never a case of "the DAA" stating: lets come up with a "Tournament Ranking system" or a "Whole Career Measuring system" and people went out and made them. If in the theoretical case of Harry's CTPRS, if Harry wants to run it, let him do it, give him every encouragement and if he wants to hand it over to any person interested in doing the work he will. The running of the systems will always be up to interested people, the DAA can't make people run them.

What the DAA can do is be a central conduit if ever the systems come under a "cloud" or if they need to be handed over to another party if the person running them dropped out. Then the DAA could fulfill its role by addressing the "cloud" or by being a contact point for hobby members and helping to find a new "custodian".

As "custodian" of the systems at the moment, my main concern is to make sure that the systems are run as fair, open and accountable as possible. I will address any concern, correwct any mistake and field any query that people have. When Andrew Goff and I were independently doing Bismark we agreed in principle to send it to each other for checking before publication. What I would like is a person I can depend on to check the results before they get published (whether in a zine, Rag or webbed). This may not be as easy to do with Masterpoints, but Ian has already checked the latest against the previous and found a few errors, so it can be done to a certain extent (you can't check a persons rank done to the last point, but pick up obvious mistakes). This being the case, I ask for a volunteer.

As for altering the systems, I don't believe any system should be "set in concrete". We may WANT to alter certain aspects of a system in the future, don't forget that the Bismark has only now been running for enough years so we now know that it works in an acceptable manner, but what we don't want is indiscriminant changing that is not thought through and may be on a whim of an individual. My approach is that as "custodian" any change I propose I will put to the hobby through the Rag and will discuss it with interested members at any forum (Tournaments, mail, ozdip), and any change that is made will be only after the concerns of any interested members have been addressed.

In that light, Tristan, I am the one proposing in Masterpoints to add points for GMs, for two reasons:

  1. Encourage people who GM and stand out of play for the Tournament.
  2. Readdress the fact that certain people contribute to the hobby and their career rank has been adversely effected i.e. John Cain is a better player than his rank suggests and his rank has been directly affected by the number of times he has sacrificed his own game to GM The proposed changes should appear in a future issue of the RAG. I don't think the proposed changes will change the fundamentals of Masterpoints.
As for Tristan's "checks" my comments are:
  1. the custodian himself will need to be a DAA member;
    (NO. WHY? The job is easily done, just keep records and calculate points. What does that have to do with being a DAA member??)
  2. the custodian cannot change the rules without going through the DAA;
    (YES, DAA meaning hobby members)
  3. the committee of 3, not the custodian alone, will decide what ARE 'Diplomacy Tournaments' for the purpose of these ratings.
    (YES, provided discussion is held with hobby members.)
  4. the choice of who shall be the next custodian will have to be made by DAA members.
    (NO, what if we need a replacement after next tourney (that bus takes me out, remember)? We can't depend on asking everyone whether so-and-so is an acceptable choice. It would have to be done by the committee or the Vic Mafia obviously.)
To sum up, I suppose I'm of the opinion that it doesn't really matter what the DAA does e.g. forms a committee, appoints a "custodian" etc. As far as I am concerned the job will be done just as every autumn the leaves fall from the trees.
Bill Brown

1998 NT Diplomacy Champs

I have decided to chuck in the towel in regards to organising the Lasseters NT Challenge. All things considered, it just would not work. Major factors against are the numbers in the hobby being so limited, travel costs and closeness in proximity to the Australian Championships. This is not to say that there will not be an NT championships in future.
Andy Turner, FIST, June/July 1997

ACT Tournament

I would not be sad to see the "ACT Championships" suffer a quiet and dignified demise.

If there is one tournament that my complaints concerning excessive numbers of tournaments have been directed against, it is the ACT Championships. Over the past few years the Canberra people have managed to "dis-organize" two tournaments which often have each struggled to reach three boards. The two Canberra tournaments are at least now approximately six months apart, but I still believe the ACT Champs is too close to the NSW Champs.

Canberra has trouble supporting one decent tournament, which the rest of the hobby is generous to dignify with the name "Australian Diplomacy Championships". The local people should put their energy and support behind this tournament - it is "their" tournament, the "Canberra" tournament. Unfortunately, when the Sydney and Melbourne people did hand it over to them to organize, they did such an unsuccessful job that now Ken Sproat has taken its organization upon himself.

Let me add that I have always been of the opinion that the Australian Championships should rotate between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra (not many people seem to agree with me however).

Ian should feel free to publish this comment in the Rag if he wishes. It may make me the number one hobby demon for certain people, but that is a position I am quite happy to occupy.
John Cain

Response to DCOC Letter

This is a response a letter by Andrew Geraghty and Doug Stewart, published in DAA Rag #4. In that letter, Andrew and Doug stated that "they" (presumably meaning DCOC) paid $60 to Gareth Collins to offset his losses from the Maroubra Classic. They assert that the DAA President at the time had stated his intention for the DAA to assume finanical liability for tournaments, both surpluses and losses, and so the $180 loss made by this tournament is a DAA liability.

If the then President of the DAA did intend for the DAA to assume financial liability for Diplomacy tournaments, I am unaware of any consultation of DAA members about this proposal. Any such move would be a major change in direction for the DAA, about which members certainly should have been consulted. Apart from any other considerations, it would of course be quite impractical for the DAA to assume financial liability for tournaments. This would remove the incentive for tournament organizers to be financially prudent. In fact, it would effectively involve the DAA giving tournament organizers a blank cheque.

I have been involved in the Australian Diplomacy hobby since 1985. During this period the arrangements for tournament finances have always been that tournament organisers assume responsiblity for their tournament, including any profit or loss made by the tournament. During my ten years of involvement in organizing the Victorian Diplomacy Championships, the championships have made a small surplus or occassionally a loss. Loses have been covered by the organizer, with surpluses used by the Victorian Diplomacy Club (VDC). The VDC also assisted with the financing of publicity (especially direct mailouts) for the tournament.

I should point out that I am in favour of greater openess concerning tournament finances, as they often do run at a surplus, which should not just be pocketed by the organiser. Statements concerning the 1996 and 1997 VicDipChamps finances have been published in the DAA Rag. At the DAA AGM this Easter, I also proposed the motion that "The DAA strongly recommends that tournament organisers publish financial statements after tournaments".

Andrew and Doug also imply in their letter that Diplomacy Clubs are members of the DAA. This is not the case. Membership of the DAA is on an individual basis only. Any relationship between Diplomacy Clubs and the DAA has only been on an informal basis.
John Cain

I am constantly amazed by how much undeserved attention some lunatics get! I kept wondering why they get published at all, especially given that their views on hobby admin and tournmt organisation are clearly at odds with the hobby at large.

Comments in Rag 4 prompted me to make the following observations:

  1. I believe each person (DAA member or not) speaks as one individual. No extra weight should be attached to someone who claims to be president of a Dip club, purporting to represent others.
  2. I believe DAA officers could summarily decide on tournament affiliation issues, on the basis of the prevailing views of its members only. Once decided, however, I do not believe the DAA need to communicate its proceedings to any Dip club, though members can read about them in the Rag or on the Web. The DAA also needs not give any reason or rationale about its decisions.
  3. I believe it is erroneous to think that the DAA has taken up the role of publicity for tournmts. The DAA promotes the hobby at large and acts as a flagship for the hobby. So it might list, advertise or endorse tournaments in various ways. But the promotion of each individual event (eg, mailouts & motivating people to go along) remains the task of the Organizer. Some organizers have got this fundamentally wrong all along. Hence their inaction in the past; hence their complaint that DAA has not done anything for them.
  4. It appears obvious that how DAA money is spent is purely the decision of the officers. Not the contributing entity, ie, tournament organizers.
  5. I do not believe anyone/anyclub has a monopoly over holding any event. There is NOTHING to stop anyone from organising the ACT Dip Championships at anytime anywhere. DAA affiliation (or not) should then be assessed on its merits based on the opinions of members.
  6. The DAA has never before been under a more competent and dedicated leadership. 'The Rag' (Ian), the website (John & Stephen), the updating of members-database (Ian), the relocation of tournaments back with the wider gaming hobby (many), the computerisation of tournament records/ ratings (Bill) are some fine examples of things that we have only TALKED ABOUT for a long time.
Other people call themselves presidents of what-not-clubs and complain a lot.
Tristan Lee

You may be constantly amazed Tristan, but this Editor will continue to publish all "sides" of any question, as long as space considerations allow. At the moment (in practice) this means that all negative comments will get published, as not many are received.

Replacement Tournament in October??

I now believe that Canberra-October as planned by AG and DS is dead, a fact which many others are becoming aware of now. The question remains though, will anything replace it?

Firstly, the weekend in question (about 5-7 October I think) is not a long weekend in Victoria (possibly other states as well, I don't know). For myself this does not preclude me from travelling interstate, it just makes it harder. I have to skip some classes at uni to travel back from Canberra and Sydney or Adelaide would be as far as I could travel at all.

Assuming that some local Canberrans still would like to play in a tournament in October, does anyone want to step forward and organize it? Probably no local Canberrans would, so then it would be up to someone from interstate to take the reins.

Considering that Tristan (aka VDC) is involved in organising the Don in November (29-30) and Ken and John are similarly organising January and Easter '98 tournaments, I would guess that they are out of the question for stepping forward and organising yet another event. Andy, Harry and Craig would be mighty unlikely in my opinion for similar reasons.

That doesn't leave too many prospective organisers out there does it? Rob Stevenson and Andrew Goff (ahem) were the only other organisers of tournaments since I began playing tournaments. Or perhaps some new blood could stand up (Stephen?). But you can count me out of the question.

I would actually enjoy travelling to Adelaide for a diplomacy tournament weekend, if someone was happy to run an event there. Adelaide is easier to get to for me than Canberra and probably a bit easier than Sydney too.

I believe that there is room between Brisbane (July) and the Don (Nov) for a tournament, particularly if it coincides with the uni mid- semester break.
Jason Whitby

Australian Diplomacy Champs

For those who are interested the Australian Diplomacy Championships are being held at Lake Ginninderra College, Belconnen, ACT. January 24,25,26 1998.

At the moment I am planning for a 3 round Tournament.

The first day the place is open till 11:00pm. The second day till 7:30 pm. The third finishes considerably earlier.

It is also my plan to allow the first 2 rounds to last as long as possible. What do people think about playing 4 rounds? Each players final score would use their best 3 games. 2 on the first day starting 9am & ~4pm. 1 on the second starting much later - maybe even midday. 1 on the 3rd starting 9:00 am sharp.

Would you be more likely or less likely to attend?
Ken Sproat, 21/6/97

Negotiation Times

For all to consider. (Only relevant for 3-day tournaments with 1 game per day.)

At all the main tournmts (eg Victorian Champs, NSW, Aust Champs) we have been having 1- game-per-day at each tournmt. The starting time has been around 9:30am or thereabouts, with no externally imposed limitation as to how long the games can take. I recall that most games finish in a draw by 2pm.

Question: WHY oh why oh why do we have turnaround time of only 20 minutes?

In fact, those 20mins actually include the time taken for reading, adjudication, retreats and builds. As well as time for writing down units and writing orders. You'd be lucky to have about 12 mins to talk to 6 people AND to think. (Yes, one needs to THINK too.)

"From 1904 the deadline shortens to 15 minutes." My oh my oh my !!!! You might as well play Gunboat.

I believe this is not sufficient and not acceptable. I am yet to hear any good reason as to WHY we are in such a rush.

More time should be 'made available' so that players can negotiate, and also to consider alternative strategies, plot tactical moves, think about to stab or not to stab, convince someone of something else for the 3rd time, etc etc etc.

It may be true that some players are so cool that they don't need any more time. In such cases there are free tea and coffee, sometimes there's even a bar. But for slower-thinking mortals like myself, I think these 20-minute deadlines are ridiculous. I venture to say that novices would find them near impossible.

My poor tournmt performance is a direct result of such mindless policies adhered to by a few fast- thinking fast-talking old cronies of the Dip hobby. This must change. Slow and stupid people should not be discriminated against.

Suggestion: (where tournament circumstances allow):

  1. 1901-1905: 20 minutes for negotiation and writing, adjudication time separate.
    1906 onwards: 15 minutes.
  2. 1901-1905: 30 minutes all inclusive
    1906 onwards: 20 minutes all inclusive.
I DEMAND that this issue be seriously discussed forthwith. Or I will get VERY CRANKY.
Tristan Lee, 23/6/97

The following article responds to various points raised by Tristan in the previous article.

(Why only 20 minute rounds?) Because we are getting you in practice for the 7 round extravaganza, which will feature two games per day!

Ah Tristan, remember the bad old days, when tournaments were liable to end in time draws between 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and the games had only reached 1907? That is why we have moderate length deadlines, and stick to them. The idea of quick deadlines is to make sure that IF players wish to play a long game, then the time is available for them to do so. With the current deadlines, most rounds at the Victorian Championships feature one or two games that run well into the afternoon, until 4:00pm or later.

Separate adjudication time is a bad idea, as experience has taught us, as it places no pressure on the boards to actually get on with their adjudication -- they can just hang around without cutting into negotiation time.

Let us consider Tristan's proposal, and its affects, based on a realistic starting time of 10:00 am.

PROPOSAL (1): Assuming 5 minutes for Autumn adjucdication and 3 minutes for Spring adjudication, for a total of 8 minutes/year. Autumn 1905 would be completed at 1:00 pm; then a 40 minute lunch; Autumn 1908 completed at 3:34pm; Autumn 1910 at 4:50 pm; Autumn 1912 at 6:06 pm.

PROPOSAL (2): Autumn 1904 would be completed at 1:00 pm; then 40 minutes lunch; Autumn 1905 completed at 2:40 pm; Autumn 1908 at 4:40 pm; Autumn 1910 at 6:00 pm; Autumn 1912 at 7:20 pm.

Both of these are FAR TOO SLOW in my opinion. Do not forget that at Conquest at least, we get a number of players in the Diplomacy tournament who also play in other events at the Convention. One of the factors that allows us to attract these players, and thus build up the hobby, is that our games usually finish by 3:30 pm. This allows these players to play in the 4:00 pm session of other events.

Tristan may only be there to play Diplomacy, but that is not the case for everyone. Our tournaments need to be as open as possible to those who take Diplomacy less seriously as well. Having games run to 3:30 or even 4:30 before reaching 1908 is a sure-fire way to turn these casual players off.
John Cain, 24/6/97

So, using Bill's figures that most games finish before 1910, and using John Cain's formula: for 25min to 1902, 20min to 1906, 15min thereafter on a vote:

  • 1908=3:40pm
  • 1910=4:50, ie most games over by 5pm.
If I'm still cruising along in a game at that stage, I must be having a good time.
Tristan Lee, 25/6/97

Well, the problem with this is that you have understated the length of games. According to Bill's figures, at the Victorian Championships 1995 and 1996, the AVERAGE game length was SPRING 1910. That means that in fact more than half the games would still be going at 5:00 pm, and many of them much later than this, as I have commented in a previous message.

When we introduced "no time draws" at the Victorian Diplomacy Championships, it was regarded as a fairly radical idea. It now seems to spread to most other three day tournaments, and become accepted as an ideal to be aimed for where possible.

I do not think we can expect the average Diplomacy player to put in a ten hour or longer day -- but that is what most players would be facing in at least one round each tournament if we adopt Tristan's proposal. If we are going to avoid time draws we need to keep the seasons ticking over quickly and regularly to ensure that a 1912 game (usually there is at least one of these per round) is not finishing at 7:00 pm and a 1915 game after 9:00 pm. Otherwise we will be back to the bad old days. Back then we certainly had our 15 minutes negotiation time. This was followed by a separate adjudication period which normally ended up as 5+ minutes for Spring and 10+ minutes for Autumn, plus the odd delay here and there for a dispute of some sort. All in all normally around 45 to 50 minutes a year (if not longer) meaning by the time you allowed for a 10:00 am start and a 45 minute lunch break, you were lucky to reach 1910 by 6:00 pm! (And time draws were generally called at about 5:00 pm). It is difficult to arrange everything perfectly, but I think our current system is a long way ahead of that situation.
John Cain, 30/6/97

Sydney Tournament

I recently attended the Sydney tournament which was part of the SAGA games convention. The convention netted one new player who played all three games and has now joined the DAA.

However the SAGA convention is only about half the size of Conquest or CanCon, and had significantly less people present. Consequently we had very few people walk in and check out diplomacy. (Although one girl of about 5 or 6 did drop in and exclaim "I want to play what they're playing daddy!")

As SAGA did not appear to give us a particularly good deal, perhaps there might be an alternative convention in Sydney which we could join. A city of 4-5 million people surely has a convention at least as big as Melbourne or Canberra?

Perhaps a convention exists over the October (NSW) long-weekend. If so, it would bear looking into moving the Sydney tournament to this date.

Let me state for the record that I did enjoy the Sydney tournament held at SAGA and will gladly attend next year if it is still at SAGA. I think that other possible alternatives could be worth looking into though.
Jason Whitby, 12/6/97


Forthcoming Tournaments

The following list of tournaments have been approved by the DAA. The results of most tournaments will count for inclusion in the Bismark Cup and Master Points. Details of the later tournaments will be updated in subsequent issues of this newsletter.

1997 ACT Diplomacy Championship

This tournament has been cancelled by the organiser.

1997 Don Challenge Cup

Location:	Melbourne Chess Club
		Leicester Street, Fitzroy
Date:		29-30 November
Liaison:	Tristan Lee
GM:		tba
Format:		3 rounds over 2 days, 9am
Scoring System:	tba
Cost:		$20

1998 NT Diplomacy Championship

This tournament has been cancelled by the organiser.

1998 Australian Diplomacy Championship

Location:	CanCon '98
		Lake Ginninderra College
Date:		24-26 January 1998
Liaison:	Ken Sproat
GM:		Ken Sproat
Format:		4 rounds over 3 days
Round 1:	9am - ~4pm (Sat)
Round 2:	~4pm - 11pm (Sat)
Round 3:	12pm - ~7pm (Sun)
Round 4:	9am - ~4pm (Mon)
		Best 3 rounds count
Scoring System:	KIS
Cost:		tba

1998 Victorian Diplomacy Championship

Location:	Conquest '98
Date:		10-12 April, 1998
Liaison:	John Cain
GM:		John Cain
Format:		3 rounds over 3 days
Scoring System:	tba
Cost:		tba

World Dip Con VIII

Location:	Chapel Hill
		North Carolina, USA
Date:		22-24 May  1998

1998 NSW Diplomacy Championship

Location:	in conjunction with SAGA '98
Date:		Queen's Birthday weekend, '98
Liaison:	Craig Sedgwick
GM:		tba
Format:		3 rounds over 3 days
Scoring System:	tba
Cost:		tba


Australian Clubs

At the time of writing, I knew of 5 Diplomacy Clubs in Australia where face-to-face games are played on a regular basis. Please provide me with the appropriate details of any other clubs (or regular meetings) within Australia.


MIDDSOC is a club located in Hurstville, which is in Sydney's south. About three or four times a week, (Friday night, Saturday, and sometimes Tuesday and Thursday), the club gets together for games like Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, and Diplomacy. Short term, I intend to get FTF Diplomacy games happening on some Sundays. Long term, I'm planning a tournament there.

For those Sydneysiders who want to check out the club, rock up at any time on any Friday evening to Rear 53 Tavistock Ave, Hurstville. There's always about three or four one-turn-per- week games of Diplomacy there, with new ones starting every month or two.

The Diplomacy Club of Canberra (DCOC)

Meets 1st Friday of every month at the Slovenian Australian Association. Starting time is 7pm.

The Perth Diplomacy Club.

Meets 3rd Sunday of every month at the loft (above the tavern) at the University of Western Australia. Nominal starting time 11am.

Queensland University Games Society.

Meets 1st Saturday (except May, 2nd Sat) of every month in the Small Clubs & Societies Common Room in the Student Union Complex. Meetings run from 9am - 5pm. Various board games are played (Diplomacy not necessarily running).

Also "traditional" boardgames (Chess, Draughts, Scrabble, etc) every Friday night (7-10pm) in the Philosophy Common Room in the Forgan Smith Building.

Victorian Diplomacy Club (VDC).

Meets 3rd Saturday of every month at the Student Union Building, Melbourne University (2nd floor). Starting time 12pm. A number of different board games are played at this meeting.


Diplomacy in Auckland

Well, we had our first meeting of what hopefully will become the Auckland Diplomacy Club on Sunday. 7 Players and two or three 'having a lookers' turned up.

Ken et al will be thrilled to hear I got screwed! [Warning: what follows is an excuse.] I got France, my least favourite country. I got three builds (by mistake) in 1901 and then got tall- poppied. Brian Wolstenholme, a newbie was leading with 11 SC's as Italy(!) in his first game(!!), but was facing concerted pressure from the combined forces of Turkey (7 Sc's - Simon) and Russia (8 Sc's - Leon Quidding) when the game was wrapped up at 5pm (1909). Austria (Andrew Ward) was eliminated in 1909, and I still had a French Army defending stoutly in Berlin. Bevyn Quidding playin Germany, a.k.a the Phoniex, conspired to come back from the dead in 1904, and peak at 9 units, but was possibly about to slip in Scandinavia at the end against the determined advances of the Russian Forces commanded by his brother. Daniel Hurley played England and was still cruising with 2 units at the end.

We all really enjoyed ourselves. Most of us hadn't played FTF for over a year, and in some cases 4 years. The bug seems to have caught, and we all left keen for another go in 4 weeks time.

We played 20 minutes to the end of 1902 (excluding resolution) and then 15 minutes (excl.) to 1906, and then 10 (excl.) from then on. Being Brian's first ever game, I think any faster would have been unfair, but we could probably get more moves in in the same time next time.
Brandon Clarke, 30/6/97


DAA Tournament Results

1997 NSW Championship

This 3 round, 2 board tournament was played early in June in Sydney. The results are summarised below:

1st place:	Rob Stephenson		44
2nd place:	Craig Sedgwick		36
3rd place:	Bill Brown		34
4th place:	Ken Sproat		30
5th place:	Ben Grosman		28
6th place:	Harry Kolotas		27
7th place:	Simon Keast		25

Best Countries:
Austria:	Ben Grosman		 9
Italy:		Harry Kolotas		10
France:		Rob Stephenson		13
England:	Craig Sedgwick		12
Germany:	Rob Stephenson		10
Russia:		Rob Stephenson		12
Turkey:		Ken Sproat		11

Best Novice:	Simon Keast

1997 QUGS Championship

This 4 round, 2 board tournament was played early in July in Brisbane. The results are summarised below:

1st place:	Daniel Edwards		36
2nd place:	Christian Kelly		33
3rd place:	Darryl Greensill	25
4th place:	Glen Dawson		24
5th place:	Owen Gintis		24
6th place:	Simon Gallimore		22
7th place:	Paul Appleyard		21

Best Countries:
Austria:	Peter Fordyce		 9
		Christian Kelly
Italy:		Darryl Greensill	10
France:		Dale Edwards		10
		Peter Fordyce
		Owen Gintis
England:	Christian Kelly		14
Germany:	Daniel Edwards		10
Russia:		Daniel Edwards		 9
Turkey:		Daniel Edwards		10
		Simon Gallimore


DAA Cash Flow (from 1 Jan 1997)

Note: The details of the DAA cash flow is provided for the benefit of its members. These details are not to be reproduced in any other publication.

Item					 $	  $
Initial Cash Balance (1/1/97)			 66.20

  Subscriptions, '97		       130.00
  Affiliation Fees:
    ACT Championships '96		30.00
    Australian Championship '97		63.00
    Victorian Championships '97		82.00
    NSW Championships '97		42.00
    QLD Championships '97		27.00
Total Income					374.00

  DAA Rag #3				41.20
  DAA Rag #4				75.95
  Stamps				 6.40
  Photocopies (for AGM)			 3.85
  Filing Fee (Inc. Assoc) (x2)		64.00
Total Expenses					191.40

Cash Balance as at     31/7/97		       $248.80


Report from NSW Championships

The standard of play at the tournament was very high. This was mainly due to the small number of inexperienced players. Even those playing in their first tourno had played before and proved quite capable.

The tournament was poorly attended due to the ever dwindling numbers of Sydney and Canberra players. The turnout from Melbourne was good, as usual. I guess there has already been some discussion online about the poor attendance at this tournament and I will not venture an opinion on what is required to get us back to 40 and 50 at a tournament, except to point out the following:

  • the tournamnet was advertised through all available hobby publications and a flyer sent out to past players (approx 30) that we knew would not receive hobby publications
  • the change of venue from Paddington may have put off some people due to a lack of convenient public transport and distance from the city
  • being with SAGA gained us 2-3 new players
The convention itself was poorly organised (in my opinion). Rooms that were pre-allocated were found locked on the morning of the first day and could not be unlocked as the school janitor had left and could not be contacted. The registration/ information area was staffed by one person (who was one of the organisers). He could not leave the area to deal with problems and was only able to do so later on when people volunteered to process entries. Facilites were adequate but not what we had come to expect at Paddington RSL.

Overall I would call the tournament a success on the basis of the high standard of the games and the enjoyment of the players. I would like to think that in the future we will attact more players as a result of returning to SAGA and that an overall strategy will return tournament numbers to what they were in the good ol' days.
Craig Sedgwick, 3 August 1997


Report from QUGS Championships

Well, it's all over, thank God. The tournament went well, and everyone who came seemed to have a fun time. All nine of them.

Yes, that's right, "nine" entries! Plus a few friends who dropped by on the second day to fill out the boards. We managed two boards a round by getting both GMs to take as position on each board, except in the last round, when we had enough ring-ins to only need one GM a board. I've just played seven games of Diplomacy in two days. Taxing, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Obvious Lesson #1: Lots of prizes didn't get people to turn up, and the people who did come along did it for love of the game. Next time, we'll skimp on the loot.

As for the format of the tournament, I felt it went well, though a number of players said that they wanted to finish one of these games sometime. Next year, we'll probably have three rounds over two days, or maybe even one game a day.

Obvious Lesson #2: People do seem interested in Diplomacy here in Brissie, but apparently taking up the whole weekend is a turn-off. To get around that, we're considering organising a series of Diplomacy events, one every two months, where people spend a day playing one game. This, however, is a matter for us to hash out next Saturday, at the next Q.U.G.S. meeting.

Also, I intend to run a Colonial Diplomacy event at Briscon 1998 (which is held over the first weekend of May). All in all, there's still going to be a fair amount of Diplomacy happening in Brisbane over the next twelve months.

Well, any questions? My mind is a blank right now; I can't think of anything else you might want to know. Fire away!
Gary Johnson


1997 NSW Champs

Financial Statement

Income			 $75.00

  Trophies		 152.00
  Electronic Timer	  19.95
  GM Expenses		  20.00
  DAA Affiliation Fee	  42.00
  Advertising		  15.00
Total Expenses		$248.95

Net Result	       -$173.95

Craig Sedgwick Co-Organiser, 20 June 1997


1997 QUGS Champs

Financial Statement

  Entry Fees:		 121.00
  QUGS Subsidy		  96.00
Total Income:		$217.00

  Prizes		 190.00
  Publicity		   0.00
  DAA Affiliation Fee	  27.00
Total Expenses		$217.00

Gary Johnson, 27 July 1997


Diplomacy Riddle

The Riddle of the Mirrored Openings

(a Sherlock Holmes Puzzle)
by Graeme Ackland, Master Aenigmatist

Holmes looked up from his armchair at me. I was engaged in a heated discussion across the room with his dear brother, Mycroft. Holmes took his pipe out of his mouth, put it back, and returned to his reading.

I was visibly upset. "Confound this NMR rule, Mycroft! A chap misses a single deadline and he's eliminated -- in 1901 to boot! Look at this."

Pulling the battered Diplomacy set from the bookcase, I set up the pieces in their familiar starting configuration. I then wrote out a set of orders, saying "A reasonable enough opening, eh?" "Now I think of it, weren't you at the Calhamer Club that night, Mycroft?"

Mycroft peered at my scrawl. "Indeed I was! I believe you requested my advice regarding the opening moves on this occasion, as I was playing the same power as you were in another room. It looks that from the offers you have written, evidently you took that advice."

"Yes, and a lot of good it did me!" I growled. Here are the other orders."

Mycroft waited as I pushed pieces around the board, and then exclaimed, "Remarkable! The identical openings for all the other powers occurred in my game as well. This situation requires urgent negotiations, Watson. You need only make your neighbours aware of the logic of the position and an excellent Fall awaits you".

"Perhaps," said I, "but you'll recall that that very night we three were all called urgently away to that business on Dartmoor. When we returned to the Club the Fall moves had already processed: in our absence that infernal NMR rule was enforced. All my units had been ordered to hold while all the other powers' units had moved out of their home countries. The other powers had each taken two neutral centres, and my country had been invaded by no less than four foriegn powers, while I faced an inevitable 1901 elimination. That has never happened to me before, and it is in no small measure due to your foolish opening."

"A sorry tale, Watson, but you really should look to your negotiations for blame rather than to the opening I suggested: I also missed the fall deadline and had my forces declared in civil disorder. Before I left I took some elementary precautions. As a result of skillful diplomacy on my part, the Fall moves in my game were considerably different from those in yours. On our return, I found myself in a position to capture three new centres in 1901."

"Well, Mycroft," I complained, "I definitely could have used those additional supply centres after seeing the Russian-English alliance that showed itself when England supported the Russians into Kiel and Holland in Spring of 1902."

At this point, Holmes again looked up from his book. "You know, Watson," he began, "Mycroft is quite right. Had you negotiated arrangements for different Fall moves from the other powers as he did, you would have been in a much more favorable position."

"Holmes!" I exclaimed, "I hardly think you are in any position to comment on either your brother's openings or my negotiations. You have been sitting at the other end of the room reading; you don't even know which power we played, let alone what our opening moves were!"

"On the contrary, dear Watson. Not only do I know the power you played and your opening moves, I can even tell you what your board looked like at the end of 1901." Holmes nodded to his brother, smiled at the both of us, and drew on his pipe as he returned to his book.

What was the position in Watson's game at the end of Fall 1901, and how did Holmes know?

The above riddle was published in the Spring 1997 Retreats edition of the Diplomatic Pouch. An answer will be published in the next issue of this newsletter.


1997 Bismark Cup

The following list has been summarised from information supplied by Bill Brown. Four tournaments have been played in 1997 to date.

     Placing	State			      Total
	1	VIC	Bill Brown		135
	2	NSW	Harry Kolotas		116
	3	VIC	Jason Whitby		111
	4	VIC	Rob Stephenson		105
	5	NSW	Craig Sedgwick		98
	6	VIC	Ken Sproat		72
	7	VIC	Gary Bekker		71
	8	QLD	Daniel Edwards		60
		VIC	Rohan Keane		60
	10	ACT	Tri Vo			53
	11	VIC	Tristan Lee		51
	12	QLD	Christian Kelly		47
	13	ACT	David Gould		46
	14	ACT	Andrew Goff		45
		NSW	Stephen Muzzatti	45
	16	QLD	Darryl Greensill	42
	17	NSW	Geoff Kerr		40
	18	QLD	Glen Dawson		37
	19	VIC	Ian van der Werff	36
	20	NSW	Ben Grosman		32
		QLD	Owen Gintis		32
	22	VIC	Richard Orme		30
	23	QLD	Simon Gallimore		29
	24	QLD	Paul Appleyard		24
		NSW	Simon Keast		24
	26	VIC	David Currell		20
		VIC	Frank Meerbach		20
	28	VIC	Shane Beck		17
	29	NSW	Andrew Kisliakov	16
		QLD	Dale Edwards		16
		QLD	Peter Fordyce		16
	32	ACT	Luc Gentet		15
		NSW	Alwyn Patterson		15
	34	VIC	David Blom		14
		SA/NT	Andy Turner		14
	36	ACT	Troy Anderton		13
12 points:
Carl Chang, Steve Goldie, Arianwen Harris

11 points:
Andrew Bushby, Daniel Jacobs, Phil Orme, Dugal Ure

9 points:
Tom Drake-Brockman, Donald Patterson

8 points:
Bob Blanchett, Chris Goff, Leigh Gold, Paul Goldie, Shaun Gunn, Andrew Harding, Simon Morton, Gareth Schofield, Pedro Silva, Roland Wallander

5 points:
David Astley, Robert de Graaf, Paul Drake, Gavan Lim-Joon, Joshua Martin, Ian McAlpine, Richard Nolan, Frank Tarcasio


  • Australian title was rated 3+1 boards
  • Victorian convention was rated 4+1 boards
  • NSW tournament was rated 2+1 boards
  • QUGS tournament was rated 2+1 boards


Master Points

The current Master Points can be viewed elsewhere on this website, and have therefore not been repeated here.


The "DAA Rag"

Please contact me if you have any additional information that is appropriate for inclusion in this newsletter, especially articles for the Forum and information on other Diplomacy clubs. The deadline for issue #6 is the end of October 1997.

Editor:	Ian van der Werff   (DAA Secretary)
	GPO Box 170B
	Melbourne  VIC   3001

	Phone/Fax: 	(03) 5424 8585
	Mobile:		(0419) 329 766
	email:		ivdw@acslink.net.au

Diplomacy Association of Australia and New Zealand, Incorp. Assoc. (Vic) no. A0029615P.

Last modified: 9 September, 2009
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