The Wise Old Weasel (9)

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 12:18

The Wise Old Weasel -- England

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To fleet… or not to fleet? That is the question.
Whether ‘tis nobler on the land to plunder
The twists and turns of uncertain theatre
Or to bide time amidst a storm of others
And by waiting end them.

 

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: ENGLAND 

Neville Chamberlain, shortly after deciding to convoy off the island after securing “peace in our time” with France.
He lost Liverpool the next year.

Friday, 18 August 2017 12:41

Get out of the box

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What up Weasels? I wrote an article for Diplomacy World that I figured I'd pass around. Please note that at the time of writing, i was winning the league standings. Dammit, Brandon...

 

For the full mag, click here. 

 

 

Get Out of the Box: 10 Ways to Take Your Game to the Next Level

 

First, I should introduce myself. I’m Jake Trotta, a new member of the hobby and the Minister of Public Information (or “Speaky Weasel”) for the Windy City Weasels. Our club goals are to grow the hobby and develop championship caliber players. Both objectives require players to learn and develop their game, so I’d like to share a bit about my own development in the hopes that it may help other future players (and Weasels) with theirs. After winning my first tournament, I went through a very difficult 6-month plateau in the hobby. I wanted to get better and tried to improve at the 3 aspects of the game (negotiation, strategy, tactics). I was reading articles, playing gunboat games, getting a lot of games in. But the results weren’t matching my effort level. I lost the league lead, got slammed at WDC, wasn’t enjoying the game as much, and was certainly less fun to play with. After getting eliminated first in our club title game, the Weasel Royale, I asked another player on the board where I was going wrong. “You’re just not having fun anymore,” he told me. That moment made me realize something—a fourth (and perhaps most important) dimension to the game. Attitude. What mentality am I bringing to the board? How is that impacting my negotiation? Strategy? Tactics? If I don’t establish a defined, constructive relationship between myself and the board, it is, by necessity, going to be very difficult to establish constructive relationships with my boardmates. That realization changed the way I evaluate the board, my game, and myself, sparking a rapid period of growth. The following are a set of 10 insights that helped break me out of that mental box.

Hit the jump for 10 (10!) ways to elevate your game!

Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:54

THE WISE OLD WEASEL -- ITALY

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June, the start of sundress/ wedding season, is fittingly named after the Roman goddess Juno. Juno was the goddess of marriage, but really, she was the goddess of jealousy. She’d stroll out of her Mount Olympus high rise, see all these nymphs (in the classical sense) in their sundresses holding hands with their boyfriends (or her husband Zeus/ Jupiter), and be filled with envy. That envy inspired her to turn people into cows, start wars, or send literal Furies after her enemies. Really, there are only two kinds of stories in Roman Mythology: ones where Juno aggressively seeks vengeance, and ones where she does not.

Passive Juno allowed the continent we push blocks around to be named after her husband’s slam piece.

Aggressive Juno orchestrated the fall of Troy.

You know what they say about Italians- they learn best from their mothers. This, Weasels, is where we share our wisdom.

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: ITALY

Image result for juno goddess

A disappointed, passive Juno surveying her four center Italy, about to be squeezed in 1908. 

ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME- YOUR ITALIAN OVERVIEW

Now like Juno, Italy doesn’t have to be constantly aggressive, but it must be jealous. Italy’s great challenge is getting stuck on 4 centers, home and Tunis, until the end of time. In fact, Italy only gets out of the gate, which our stats department defines as reaching 7 centers, in 33% of games, worst of the seven powers. But a strong Italy, with its variety of weapons and targets, brings havoc across Europe.

Italy is uniquely positioned between the theatres and at the edge of the stalemate line, if you count Tunis. Early game involves a fun variety of openings and establishment in one theatre, midgame requires a strategic maintenance of tempo and unit mix, the end game a vast kaleidoscope of solo possibilities.

YOUR ITALIAN INSPIRATION-HISTORY'S MOST FAMOUS STAB

THE SECTION WHERE WE PUBLICLY ASK FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS, AT TIMES BY NAME

Drop a comment for how you best (or least best) play Italy. Brandon and Jim both had some solid results last year they could perhaps speak to. I find that Chris Kelly often does well on the boot, consistently hitting 7+ as the Italian. Perhaps Bull Weasel and Turkey superfan Matt “the Sundstrom” Sundstrom could share some thoughts on how Italy can best annoy Turkey, its biggest threat? Not to forget subprime Weasel John Gramila soloed with Italy at the 2016 WDC.

Hit the jump for stats department report on Italy, best club results, and Jake’s most recommended Italian articles.

Friday, 05 May 2017 14:54

The Wise Old Weasel -- France

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THE WISE OLD WEASEL: FRANCE
I’m supposed to say nice things about French culture here. But here’s the truth: Napoleon was a goddamn Italian, and France lost both World Wars. They invented the word “surrender.”

France is so laughably overpowered on the diplomacy board, with their embarrassment of neutrals, difficult to play neighbors, arguably second best defensive position in the game, and natural resting state along the stalemate line. In diplomacy, France is unquestionably the best. They practically always win. It's almost like the game was created for them to dominate. Wait a minute...

Folks… France is the AMERICA of diplomacy.

So fuck your cake. It’s 1917, and the real freaking heroes are finally here. Grab your bacon and apple pie, because Operation: Dip Freedom is coming through.

This Wise Old Weasel is all about TEAM FREEDOM. 

 

THE WISE OLD WEASEL: AMERICA

PREAMBLE
Team Freedom, World's Greatest Nation and normally the strongest nation on the board, is having a great year, winning 13 of 30 boards so far. This nearly doubles the second place nation, but still does not match our dominance in World Series Championships. You're freaking welcome, every other country.

Perhaps the most difficult challenge in playing America is the same challenge as being an American- what do I do with all this FREEDOM?

REMOVE YOUR HATS FOR YOUR PATRIOTIC INSPIRATION

We thank France for the Statue of Liberty, democratic revolutions, and pissing off England.  The greatest country in the world perfected all 3.

All right, Weasels. Uncle Sam needs you. How do you play France America?

Hit the jump for some great American history, ballads of bald eagle resurgences, how we have the best allies, and more.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:07

THE WISE OLD WEASEL STABS THE DAY

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THE WISE OLD WEASEL STABS THE DAY

Weasels, it is the Ides of March, the date of the most famous stab in human history.

Julius Caesar, renowned politician, general, diplomatic, lover and Protector of Rome took Italy all the way to 17 centers in 44 BC, with all of France, Belgium, Iberia, all of Italy, Tunis, Trieste, Serbia, Greece, Bul, and all of Turkey. (Yes, we here at the Wise Old Weasel counted the dots.)

But just before he could call himself Julius Solo, Caesar’s senate compatriots formed a grand alliance to stop him. Antony, Caesar’s most loyal ally, gave a moving eulogy… and summarily pardoned the assassins.

Today is a day we celebrate the stab, the crux of this great game we call diplomacy. Whether you are Casca, rushing into the shoulder blade first, Cassius, who swung for the face and missed, or Brutus, the beloved brother who stuck a sword in his side, we all have our memorable stabs.

On this Ides of March, do not merely beware, but relish in the thrill of stabbing and, yes, being stabbed.

So, Weasels, let us stab the day and share our great war stories and sage stab advice below.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 16:53

The Wise Old Weasel -- Austria

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The hills are alive with the sound of music- but will you be around to hear it? Greece and Bulgaria are some of my favorite things, but you need a German older and wiser keeping Russia out of Gal for you! Can climb every mountain? Will Edelweiss bless your homeland forever? Or will F02 leave you singing “so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu?”

Grab your bags and your rich Uncle Max! This, Weasels, is where we share our wisdom.

Monday, 16 January 2017 01:34

The Wise Old Weasel-- Russia

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A gray sky surrounds the grayer plains… or is it snow? There is nothing around except a few bare trees, no one to talk to, no place for respite. It is cold, damn cold. There is no more Ritz to be Putin on. You inhale, reeking of friends lost and hopelessness, but the only showers here are (allegedly) used to blackmail other, more important players.

Do you have what it takes to survive the winter? This, weasels, is where we share our Wisdom.

 

THE WISE OLD WEASEL—RUSSIA

 

INTRODUCTION

“Why does this club hate Russia?” ponders club founder and Soviet sweetheart Jim O’Kelly. Verily, Russia is the most difficult country to play in this club, as it is the least likely to top or split a top.

Perhaps it is because of this club’s proclivity to the Sundstrom/ Armenia opening. Perhaps it is because Germany tends to bounce Sweden. Perhaps it is because two units are often bounced in S01. Perhaps it is the lack of guaranteed builds. Perhaps it is because Russia always happens to look big. Perhaps it is because Germany is too eager to move east. Perhaps it is because it neighbors nearly every nation and has the most number of “strategically imperative” diplomatic conversations early in the game. Perhaps Weasels are just fulfilling their patriotic duty.

Much like matryoshka doll, each Russian problem just opens up into another Russian problem. Playing Russia can be a real bear.

 

YOUR RUSSIAN INSPIRATION

I debated putting the "Miracle on Ice" here, but found this more appropriate. For context, you are the bear. 

 

Quit Stalin and drop by the comments to leave your motherland musings.

Hit the JUMP for Russia stats, correlations, and the part where Jake posts links he knows are broken and reminds himself to correct them later.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:07

The Wise Old Weasel -- Talking Turkey

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Turkey, Thanksgiving cornerstone and diplomatic "Cancer in the Corner," is next up because of the aforementioned holiday.

A reminder of what we're doing here:

Weasels near and far, let us gather and share our collective wisdom on the play of individual powers in this great game. All are encouraged to comment with their perspective on playing each power effectively. For newer weasels, this should be a tremendous resource to quickly learn the game. For older weasels, this blog will provide areas to search for improvement and share discoveries. And for the oldest of Weasels, this blog is an outlet for the fruit of their many years in the hobby. This, Weasels, is where we share our wisdom.

Topics of conversation may include openings, negotiation, alliances, how to solo, how to play from behind, anything and everything that feeds into the proper play of the nation. Reminder: this is specific to club Turkish play under the one true scoring system, Sum of Squares.  

Gobble up your Turkish tactics after the jump.

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 11:55

The Wise Old Weasel -- Germany

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Weasels near and far, let us gather and share our collective wisdom on the play of individual powers in this great game. All are encouraged to comment with their perspective on playing each power effectively. For newer weasels, this should be a tremendous resource to quickly learn the game. For older weasels, this blog will provide areas to search for improvement and share discoveries. And for the oldest of Weasels, this blog is an outlet for the fruit of their many years in the hobby. This, Weasels, is where we share our wisdom.

 

Topics of conversation may include openings, negotiation, alliances, how to solo, how to play from behind, anything and everything that feeds into the proper play of the nation. Reminder: this is specific to club German play under the one true scoring system, Sum of Squares.

First up, we have GERMANY, because of Octoberfest and, more importantly, because it is your writer’s favorite country.

 

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