Finished: 03 PM Mon 28 Apr 14 UTC
Private Rattlers and Eagles
1 day /phase
Pot: 110 D - Spring, 2004, Finished
Modern Diplomacy II, Draw-Size Scoring
1 excused missed turn
Game drawn
01 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: lol.
01 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Note to self: Offer fart jokes during Cultural Exchanges. Germany should know this.
01 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Yes, you can move troops though other peoples territories on particular turns. Like right now, Spain has not "captured" Liverpool quite yet. He could, if he wanted to, pass through it and move to Wal. However, where your troops are during the next turn is what makes the territory change color.
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Corey, it seems that you had a hard time finding allies. Would you like me to send some personalized messages to some folks on your behalf? I can be very persuasive! :)
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: The year of the Spaniard did not disappoint! Freedom procured four new supply centers in this year, 1997. Another country who had a year was Ukraine, who seems to have recovered nicely from some early stumbles and is a veritable freight train in the East. Will his neighbors try to ride Ukraine's coattails or try to balance against the Eastern hegemon?

Ukraine's Polish horse also did well. Together those two countries make a good team. Much like in contemporary Middle Eastern politics, there is a growing tension between the Arab Islamists in Egypt and the more secular leaders in Turkey. Who will prevail? Egypt seems to be having some problems convoying his armies across the Eastern Mediterranean. This issue has given Turkey a tactical advantage, but Egypt has the luxury of have an easily defensible homeland.

If this was the year of the Spaniard, honorable mention goes to the underdogs in the game. France, Russia, and Britain are have continued to fight tenaciously despite their severe disadvantages. That is a skill that should not go unnoticed. Nice job to all three of you. Sincerely, that's awesome!

Good luck, everyone!

P.S. Does anyone else think that Europe kind of looks like a mulicolored scorpion? Its kind of distracting.
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Due to an influx of Russian influence in the Ukrainian Empire, we have just changed our National Anthem. Please join us in the rousing chorus.
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Hey, all. I will be traveling the rest of the week, so please channel all correspondence to my secretary. Or you can just text me. Also, a friendly reminder to press ready to lock in your moves once you are done so the game can progress.
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Wait, that's the summary? No mention of Glorious Germany?! What about how I magnificently retreated in Switzerland? Or totally overcompensated against an undefended Austria? Or was honorably ineffective in Holland? No mention of any of that? Pitiful.

What you see here is an overly ambitious Spain attempting to rewrite history. And I won't stand for it! So let me give you a glimpse of what is being written in Glorious Germany's history books (even if we are burning them at the moment) and told to children as bedtime stories:

"Oh look at fancy pants Spain's teacup army. Let's see, they took undefended cities in Edinburg while the mighty German armies held fast against an uncompromising foe (speaking of which, compromise guys? Seriously). And Spain weakly took the undefended city in Rome while German settlers were gunned down in Switzerland. And Spain's flotsam fleet barely managed to float into Liverpool and rent a hotel room while Germany's Armada fought bravely against a land/sea invasion in Hamburg. Are we sensing a pattern here?" Let me break it down for you:

Germany = Strong. Spain = Pity Points.

It'd be interesting to see how your armies fared against a real enemy that you actually had to fight. Do your armies even carry ammunition or do you just send them on vacation and they decide to settle down?

Next time, your silly world news summary (who reads them anyways /sulk/) better include the might of the German EMPIRE!

PS - I've uploaded a video of our latest board meeting where we discuss this matter with our advisers:
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: I have two responses to this video:
1) That is fucking hilarious! How long did it take you to make?
2) I will destroy you! I need to go walk this off. Paris seems nice. Maybe I will go there. :)
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Typical Spain. Gets angry and so goes for a walk. Would like a small puppy to take with you? Perhaps a latte and a cool spring morning as well? Real men run.

Also, in typical fashion, I see you threatening yet another undefended province and against a country already fighting on three fronts. So brave!
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Also, I hear Corey is looking for an alliance. Maybe a partnership between Germany and Italy would work. We all know how well that worked in the past. Wasn't Mussolini hung from a tree and hitler left burning in a ditch somewhere?
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Well, our alliance is going well. Didn't you notice how we're sharing Switzerland and he's going to defend Lyon for me by driving his armies right into it.

And yes, Mussolini wasn't a great arborist, and at least Hitler could shoot straight when it counted, but I always thought Franco supported Italy and Germany in WWII?
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: I was hoping you would overlook that little fact. I am rewriting history by serving as the barginger of freedom and prosperity. To oppose Spain is to oppose freedom. Who wants that?
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997:
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Nice job so far.
02 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: That has to be the best video I've seen.
03 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1997: Todd...that video is hilarious!
04 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1998: Oh and just so everyone know... Since I was confused about it until I was set straight. It takes 33 units for a win. Not the 18 that the original game required
04 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1998: I wish it only required 18! That means I would win in two years. Ireland, London, Paris and Lyon alone puts me at 16.
04 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1998: Wow.
04 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1998: et tu Ger-kraine
05 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1998: Are Jim and Joel fighting each other? Yea!!!!
06 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1998: The core assumption of all modern international relations theory is that the international system characterized by pure anarchy (Waltz 1979), and the sole imperative that nations operate by is the pursuit of their own interests. This last year of play proved that this imperative applies even to the world of online diplomacy. 1998 saw allies become enemies, and enemies turn into allies. And what a transformation! A year ago, the West was in complete disarray and the East looked poised to steam-roll the competition. Now, however, the East is in disarray just as the West is getting its international house in order. Indeed, in his famous book, Robert Axelrod demonstrated using computer simulation that cooperation can evolve even out of pure anarchy (Axelrod 1984). The West is prove positive of this phenomenon. How will the East respond? Will they continue to fight each other, or will they band together to prevent a Western juggernaut?

I watched a movie once that said that the best thing about 1999 was that it was followed by the year 2000. I don't know if that is true; in fact, I am pretty sure I just made that up. Nevertheless, in the world of international diplomacy, 1999 is going to be a very good year for the great empire of Spain!

If 1999 is going to be the second year of the Spaniard, then 1998 was the year of the Mighty German resurgence! Not only did the German empire finally put France to bed, but he recaptured Switzerland, took the Czech republic from Poland, and is poised to make additional gains this coming year. This year was so good for the Germans that I have begun a rumor that Germany has a slightly above average wee-wee (Dawkins 2014; 2013;1999). Hail, Germany! I am in awe of Germany's august presence. Does anyone know if he is still single?

In other news, Ukraine shot his polish horse. That's too bad. He was a good horse. Although wounded, Poland is still an important force in this game. Is there room for German-Ukrainian collaboration in finishing off Poland, or will Poland be able to exploit the competition between the two attacking countries to its own advantage?

While Ukraine has turned on Poland, he has found a new friend in Turkey. They seem to be working together well. I look forward to see what they can do together. The Great Russian Empire has relocated from Moscow to Denmark. He was off to a slow start early in the game, but he has proved to be an exceptionally scrappy force. Good work, Joe!

Then, there is Italy. Appealing to his vanity and inflated sense of self, Italy convinced Spain that he had more to gain from collaboration than from conflict. Indeed, its amazing what can be accomplished with a little flattery and the promise that you will kamikaze a person's game if an accord is not met. Italy is a shining example of why you can't negotiate with a madman. Move over, Saddam. Italy has arrived!

Freedom is on the march!

Note: All trash-talking by Spain has been copy-written and trademarked. The unauthorized use of Spanish material will lead to absolutely no consequences.
07 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1998: I think the "world news updates" are my favorite part of the game.
08 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1999: I second that. The world updates are my favorite part of the game too. Thanks, Ryan!
08 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1999: Hey, all! Because of the extended time, the orders do not go in until late tonight. In order to keep the game from being delayed further, PLEASE HIT READY once your orders are in. I don't want to unduly call anyone one out for not doing this, but you know who you are Jim and Walter! :)
08 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1999: Just for that, I'm hitting "Not Ready." The world will operate on Berlin time.
08 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 1999: Also, my orders are not in.
10 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1999: Empty paper towel rolls, apple cores, egg shells, moldy bread, mountain dew bottles. There's some trash talk for Spain. And there's plenty more where that came from. Oh yeah, and your empire smells like body odor and eggs.
11 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1999: Hey, all! What a year this has been! It was in some ways the most exciting year yet; in other ways a bit of a let down. What follows is my review of the year. Warning: Severe trash-talking ahead. Read at your own peril.

While the mighty and power nation of Spain had high hopes for territorial gains this year, 1999 proved to be more about jockeying for position than outright land grabs. This makes sense given that the game is turned into a bipolar conflict between East and West. Perhaps the most interesting development as part of this bipolar conflict is the evolving relationship between Ukraine and Poland. First they are friends, then they are enemies, then they are friends again. Come on, guys. Which is it?!? Your relationship is playing out like a bad lifetime movie. Indeed, it seems that Poland may be afflicted with a little bit of battered wife syndrome. Here is some advice for Poland: Even though Ukraine says he loves you and that he was just angry and that he won't hurt you again, he probably will. Where is Dr. Phil when you need him? Or, would you prefer Jerry Springer?

Anyway, for the political scientists among us, the development of this stark East-West conflict should be of little surprise given that IR scholars have long argued that bi-polarity produces a far more stable international system than either multi-polarity or uni-polarity. One consequence of this polarization into two camps, however, is that battle-lines are stabilizing and the ease of movement is becoming more constrained. Easy territory, in other words, is becoming a scarce commodity.

With Britain knocked out of the game, the only two powers small powers left are Russia and Egypt. They are both desperately clinging to dear life. At this point, they have become pawns in this larger East-West struggle. On which side will they eventually fall? Will they side with the West, which exemplifies freedom, democracy, and cultural excess, or will they side with an Eastern block led by Ukraine, the largest producer of cheap vodka in the world?

At least for one country, that answer is clear. Russia has become a rabid dog and appears willing to sacrifice life and limb if it means sticking it to the Ukrainian-Polish block. Will Egypt follow suit? Has the Turkish onslaught soured any possibility of reconciliation?

One of the most telling things about this last year is how the style of game play reveals the psychological frame of mind of the two sides. One of the dominant theories of political psychology is prospect theory, which offers a theory of decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty. This game is plagued by both. According to prospect theory, people are generally both risk-averse and loss-averse. Of these two impulses, loss aversion is always a more powerful impulse. How people balance risk-aversion against loss-aversion, however, depends on whether they perceive their decision making position as in the 'domain of gains' or the 'domain of losses.' In the 'domain of gains,' the desire to protect against possible loss outweighs the desire to engage in risky behavior even when offered the prospect of even larger gains. However, if one perceives himself in the 'domain of losses,' he is much more accepting of risky decision- making behavior to protect against the prospect near certain losses.

This last year revealed that the West is likely operating in the 'domain of gains,' while the East is behaving as if in the 'domain of losses.' Even though Spain had a clear opportunity to take much more than a single supply center this year, he pursued a much less-risky strategy of jockeying for position in anticipation of more certain future gains. Conversely, the East took risks in Egypt and the Mediterranean in hopes of achieving big, game changing moves. They were only partly successful. While achieving a clear advantage in the Mediterranean, they stumbled in Egypt.

Speaking of Egypt... What is going on in Cairo? In the spring, Egypt was attacking itself as if it were being commanded by a special needs child. Then, suddenly, in the fall, he sprang into action as if he had a new lease on life.

Germany also seemed to have a few problems this year. Maybe some rouge officers under his command who are not faithfully executing his orders. Either that, or Germany has a hard time distinguishing between Norway and Denmark. Perhaps we should send a dispatch to the United States and have them send Sarah Palin and Herman Cain over to teach the German Chancellor some geography?

The year 2000 promises to be another good year, and I look forward . Spain's ego will continue to grow, especially as he comes knocking on Poland's back door. As Germany so delightfully noted, though, Spain's ego is likely inversely related to the size of his wee-wee. :)

As we begin the new year, does anyone have any good fart jokes? I heard a good one recently from Germany. It had something to do with gas chambers, I think.... Good luck everyone!
11 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 1999: Q: What do you call a person that doesn't fart in public?


13 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: Hey, all. There has been a request to get back onto a late night cycle, whereby the orders go through around 10 pm rather than in the morning or mid-day. I have no problem with this request. If we wanted to get back onto the cycle, however, it requires us all to have our order in for this turn tonight at 10pm. That is to say, our orders filled and everyone having hit "ready." If anyone has an objection to this plan, feel free to contact me.
15 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: Woah! Ukrainian territory looks a lot smaller without Volga! Oh, and Poland is a dick for making us wait 24 hours for a retreat. That is all.
15 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: Darn independent news organizations revealing my secret invasion plans:
16 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: I would like the great country of Poland to know that I have written a paper, prepared a lecture, learned ANOVA, grades my students' quizzes on interpreting regression output, made dinner, and read and completed 15 buzzfeed lists/quizzes--all in the time I have spent waiting for him to take the two minutes required to destroy a unit. That is all. :)
16 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: Here's the Quizzes Ryan Took (yes, these are real Buzzfeed quizzes):
1.) What Flower Are You? (Answer: Pansy)
2.) Are You Cool? (Answer: Steve Erkel)
3.) How Big of a Dick Are You? (Answer: Washington Monument)
4.) What Superpowers Should You Have? (Answer: )
5.) How Bad are your Live Choices? (Answer: )
6.) How Well Do You Know "Clueless"? (Answer: Superfan)
7.) Foolproof Gay Test (Answer: *Test Not Actually Foolproof*)
8.) How Well Do You Know "Love Actually"? (Answer: Stalks Kiera Knightly in Real Life, but calls her Juliet)
9.) How many of these terrible things would you do for $100? (Answer: Already done most of them, didn't know could have been paid $100)
10.) How many life skills do you have? (Answer: Does taking Buzzfeed quizzes count as a skill?)
11.) Which 'Little Woman' Are You? (Answer: You shouldn't be allowed near women)
12.) How many movie musicals have you seen (Answer: Regularly reenacts Guys and Dolls with his dolls)
13.) Which Bruce Lee Movie Character are you? (Answer: That piece of wood Bruce chops in half.)
14.) What deadly creature are you? (Answer: Somewhere between a Butterfly and an injured Moth.)
15.) Do you actually have a sense of humor? (Answer: I hope so)
16 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: OH MY FUCKING GOD! That is hilarious! I love it!
16 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2000: Buzzfeed has the weirdest quizzes.
17 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2001:
22 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 2002: I wish I could convoy fleets. That would be really nice right about now.
22 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2002: Every time I submit orders in this game I get the lyrics from Kongos "Come with me now" in my head.
22 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2002: Spain? Spain? Where's my annual news update?

Without it, I have no idea what is going on. How am I supposed to know who deserves snark this year?
23 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2002: I know! I may be out of this game, but I still feel like I need to know what's going on!
25 Apr 14 UTC Spring, 2003: Hey, everyone.

One of the more interesting threads on the webdiplo forum is the "Web Diplomacy: School of War" thread. For that thread, the website hosts a game of Classic Diplomacy and they have 'professors'--i.e. the most experienced players on the site--who critique each player's moves after every turn. At the end of the game, they have the players write a post-game analysis of their own game play. Given that this game is winding down, I thought it might be kind of fun for everyone to write their own post-game analysis of how they saw their own game unfold. In other words, each player briefly articulates how he approached the game, what his basic strategy was, what were things he thought he did well, what in hindsight proved to be missed opportunities, what were the major lessons of the game, etc. These analyses don't have to be super long, but I think it would be fun to get everyone's perspective on the game, especially the perspectives of the final four players.

Also, I want to know why Walter kept given up territory to other players, namely Norway and Sweden. He could have been a major player in the game had he not given Norway to Joe and forfeited Sweden to Jim is the first two years of the game.
26 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2003: Well, here's my summary. My overall strategy was to make as few mistakes as possible, which didn't really work out well. And yet here I am.

France: I tried to be friendly and compromise on who would be taking which open territories near us, but his version of a compromise was "I'm taking both, so if you want to work together, go somewhere else." I'm not sure what working together means, but I didn't think his version of that included me. Fortunately, Paris still gives VIP access to all German citizens.

Britain: Seeing that France and Britain were more comfortable working together, I offered to join their companionship. Britain said yes, but then kept attacking me and helping France against me. I'm consider myself fairly literate, but it took a bit of reading between the lines to understand that "yes, lets work together" meant "I'm going to stab you in the face." Fortunately Britain has poor face aim.

Poland: On my other side, Poland and I got off to a great start and cooperated on territories. By that I mean I agreed not to contest him on an open territory. He returned the favor by not attacking me. Then with the rise of Ukraine and Italy, Poland and I again found an opportunity to work together against Italy, which again meant me assisting Poland into territories and him not attacking me some more. Unfortunately this friendship didn't last as Spain and Italy joined forces and ultimately I had to choose sides. Sorry Poland.

Turkey: Turkey told me not to trust Spain. I asked Spain if I should be concerned about the number of troops that Spain had on my undefended borders. Spain said yes. Turkey also said some things in German. I don't speak German, so I'm going to assume they were fart jokes.

Egypt: We've literally never talked this game. Hi Egypt.

Ukraine: We didn't talk much. At the midpoint in the game it seemed like all alliances were being redrawn and so we discussed options at length. We tried to work it out for awhile as I foolishly compartmentalized alliances, but eventually it became a case of "join us or die" Spain and Italy. I've never seen the Godfather, but I wasn't feeling lucky. Sorry Joel.

Italy: Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Meatballs.

Russia: Joe is awesome. That's all I have to say there. We both made silly mistakes early on and hoped to work together more than we were able. Unfortunately it didn't work out this game.

Spain: Spain started with 3 territories and now has 23. Pretty impressive. Except that 17 of those territories were undefended when he took them (seriously, look through the history). Lesson? Germany makes great cannon fodder. Scratch that. Germany makes GREAT cannon fodder. HAIL GERMANY!
26 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2003: I had a great time playing this game. I had a slow start in the beginning, and I think that hurt me. I never could quite recover, and I think I missed out on some good alliances in the beginning. Key things that I learned were 1) non-supply centers are worthless and 2) read those messages that people send you! Having good communication is very helpful! I think I missed out on a possible friend with Poland, but I missed out. Oh, well. Then Joel attacked me, and I was just struggling to survive after that. I became friends with Britain when I had just a few supply centers left, but I think it was too late for the both of us. Once I realized that I was not likely to last long, I was happy to help out Germany and Spain in getting revenge against Ukraine. This was a definite learning game for me, but I think (and hope) I am a better play than I was when I first started.
26 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2003: The game according to Spain:

I really enjoyed playing with you all. It was a lot of fun, and it was good to use this game as a way to re-connect with just about all of you. When I found out I was Spain, my first reaction was a long chain of expletives. Spain is a really shitty country to play and I was not initially very optimistic about my prospects. However, I tried to make the best of a less than ideal situation. After surveying the board, there were three countries in which I knew war was inevitable: Britain, France, and Italy. As such, I needed an ally with shared interests: Germany. Our alliance was immediate. Given Spain's position on the board, moreover, I also knew that a large Navy would give me the greatest strategic advantage. From the beginning, France and Britain were my most immediate goals, but I knew part of my long-term strategy would require me to make an amphibious assault on the continent through Russia. I made my decision to attack Russia based on two inter-related assumptions. First, I assumed that the game would eventually evolve into bipolar conflict. Second, this bipolar conflict would be fought primarily on one major front. Depending on the alliance structure, the board would be divided between North-South or East-West. A North-South conflict would put me at a huge disadvantage, so I used diplomacy to help foster a conflict between East and the West (hence the yearly news updates). Once the battle-lines were formed and everyone was engaged in the center of the map, my assault on Russia could commence in earnest.

Things I learned:
1) When in a strategic disadvantage, diplomacy is critical. If you can't beat the board, beat the players. Relatedly, always talk to everyone on the board. Information is key.

2) Strong alliances are a good thing. Germany was a good ally, even if he is kind of a dick when he publicly makes fun of me. :) We decided at the very beginning that we were in it together until the bitter end, win or lose. We coordinated closely and completely integrated our strategy.

Mistakes I've made: In general, I think my play has been pretty solid this game. The one mistake I definitely made, though, was this last year. I squandered good position in Russia, and both Ukraine and Turkey astutely capitalized on it. When Turkey took Rostov at the end of last year, I should have trusted my instincts and retreated into the Caucus rather than Dontesk. I should have played it safe, but I got cocky and took an unnecessary risk just to irritate Ukraine. The result was I lost Dontesk and Volga. I should note, however, if this game were to continue I would likely get both back--plus more--over the next three moves. My loses in Africa, however, were expected and even desired so I could more quickly deploy units into Russia

Italy deserves a shout out for taking our stab like a champ. Corey is a good player with a keen strategic mind. The stab was a difficult decision for both Spain and Germany, but we both made decided that the stab would interject some excitement into a game where enthusiasm was flagging. Also, a shout out to Ukraine and Turkey, who both proved to be worthy opponents who should not be trifled with flippantly.

Thanks everyone! I have voted to draw the game.
26 Apr 14 UTC Autumn, 2003: Correction: I retract my statement about being able to retake Volga and Dontesk. That part of the global looks pretty tied up right now. In fact, the game almost looks stalemated! If not this turn, by the end of next year.
26 Apr 14 UTC It would be interesting to play out. I'm really not sure what would happen. Spain and I have more troops, but we're all bottlenecked, so it doesn't amount to much (of my 19, only 5 are able to attack an enemy territory).

On the other hand, I'm deeply defended, so it would be hard to lose territory as well, though not out of the question. In either case, I'm happy to draw as-is.
26 Apr 14 UTC I have voted to draw. However, if Joel and Preston want to play it out, I am happy to oblige. I think the Orange and Brown still have the advantage, but it is conceivable the Black and Yellow can truly stalemate the game.

Start Backward Open large map Forward End

R Danger D (101 D)
Drawn. Bet: 10 D, won: 28 D
23 supply-centers, 23 units
WhiteFlag (151 D)
Drawn. Bet: 10 D, won: 28 D
19 supply-centers, 19 units
Orion124 (133 D)
Drawn. Bet: 10 D, won: 28 D
13 supply-centers, 13 units
Drawn. Bet: 10 D, won: 28 D
9 supply-centers, 9 units
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
redfury (115 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
Jualter (115 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
deskmonkey (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
gnalneb (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
morefunman1 (100 D)
Defeated. Bet: 10 D
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