And Ron Wuerth killed it.
After the messed up situation caused by the disappearance of Austria (twice), and the decision by the players to do what they called “a GM stab” recently, I let it be known that it would not be any skin off my nose to throw in the towel on Singularity 1. I certainly tried, but the level of enthusiasm was never really seemed to be there for any player except for Italy, France, and the second England. The rest were just going through the motions. In any event, I put it to the players, and got enough of an indication to make a decision:
Turkey (ever the gentlemen): I’m out! That is my vote for Diplo…. start over… this game is screwed up…
Italy: “Why Bother?”
DECISION MADE! Pull the plug.
With that said, I award the Dippies for SINGULARITY 1:
1. Without a doubt, our best player was Italy, who forged an early coup by forging an Austria/Italy/somewhat aloof Russian tripartite pact against Turkey. This proved to be quite devastating for Turkey, quite beneficial for Austria (the first Austria) although it made Italy very vulnerable. So to Mike Reed I bestow the Von Metternich Award for Diplomatic Excellence.
2. Our most adaptable, and second best overall player was the second England, Mr. James Spurny. He took on an existing position (that was still quite strong) and expanded England’s holdings whilst fending off a concerted German/Russian alliance thw as geared up to depose him, diverting their energies towards France. To James Spurny, I bestow the Lord Palmerston Medal of Diplomatic Shiftiness. Well done, sirrah!
3. Russia seemed to have the easiest path to victory, enjoying a nice buffer zone and easy relations with his biggest threat, Germany, and only engaging in sideshows in Norway and the Balkans (always succesfully) during the course of the game. So for Mr. Rob Winslow, I award The Lord Kitchener Award for Succeeding in Spite of Cryptic or Non-Existant Diplomatic Chatter Award:
4. and 5. Germany and France good matches for each other. Germany avoided the classic cock-up in the Low Countries early in the game and bounced between England and France as to the “enemy of the moment”. France’s relative inexperience was overcome by a reasonably energetic land grab in Iberia and Tunis, which left his neck stretched out for later Germanic perfidy as they drove on Paris. Germany’s badly timed NMR mid-game gave both England and France the breathing room they needed to thrive and hatch plots together, or Germany would have scored higher. So to both Chris Wimbrow and Ron Wuerth, I grant The Georges Clemenceau Order of Decency for Diplomatic Achievement with special cluster for Energetic Hand-Wringing.
As for the rest, I will be sensitive and not name names, but I award the BLANK WALL award, for outstanding diplomatic communicative mediocrity!
Congrats to the winners!
For what it’s worth, I enjoyed running this game when the players were engaged and active with each other. Diplomacy is a great game and I hope to play and run a game sometime in the future.
Oh, in passing, to the “gentleman” who decided to go “off his meds” and institute the GM Stab*, I bestow The Golden Loogie of Sportsmanship for general meanness and game sabotage!
* This turned out to be none other than Ron Wuerth, who admitted that he thought it would be a funny joke on CONSIMWORLD. Personally, I equate game sabotage as being about as funny as Austria taking a powder in order to give himself enough time to play CIV4, but hey, people laugh at different things, I acknowledge that.