It misses the depth Pacific does have. And In my opinion it's too easy for the Axis to win. The tentative 6 I give it now has to do with the rules change we made to make the game more interesting. Upcoming variant will be posted as soon as I have the time to do that. The variant focuses on saving time, and streamlining game play in accordance with A&A Revised.
We play with a variant which works rather well. It's a combination of Revised ruling with A&Â Pacific Victory type victory conditions for both sides. The variant has only been played two times but it does allow for a 7 in rating, based on my own two plays and players responses.
The only addition I think is truely worth mentioning. Europe doesn't cut it, let alone D-day or (unfortunately) Battle of the Bulge. All are flawed, since some of the imporant features (like deciding what units you're going to buy) is not featured. This game to some is broken, but the gambit that apparently causes it - the India gambit - never pulled trough more then once. So the game is as solid as ever!
Edit 23/02/08: after our eight game we are coming to grips with the fact that it is too hard for the Allies to win with the original setup. We will play one more time with the original setup. This time Mac can bite the bullet ;-) If he wins as the Allies; we keep the original rules and I have to cope with the fact that Alcohol is finally ruining my brain cells. If not... well then we will convert to the new setup provided by Avalon Hill... Not good, so I reduced the rating to 8.
Allas, we tried it this weekend, but it didn't work out. The Allies lost again... Now we need to accept the altered set up and see if it will stand on its own. If not... Well, we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there.
This is a cool dice game. This year in Vegas... come look for me at the Craps Table! I played it in Primm, a place near Vagas. It's cheaper there and the drinks are on the house, so you have more fun loosing money! God, I loved it!
A strange game indeed. I have it, read it, didn't get it, repacked it, forgot about it. Seriously: I never fully understood the rules on breaking support etc. Too difficult to understand. And how about all that writing down orders... I don't really take to games that need a pen and paper. The negotiation and leaving dice behind is okay. But someone should invent an easier way of giving orders without need of a pen and paper. Furthermore I need rule clarification, major clarification (I can prove this game is to hard to interpret since even PBEM clubs need a referee to interpret what actually happens on the board.
Edit 6/2/08. Since yesterday we started a PBEM game complete with Gamemaster. That means that in all fairness to the game I need to adjust my rating since a 3 says one will never play the game again. Final decision may depend on the playability of the e-mail variant and I suppose factors as length etc.
29/02/2008 Ok, so now that I played PBEM Diplomacy, what is my verdict¦ I didn’t like it, and here is why. When I was still on the prowl for girls back in the day, I would write a lot of sms and e-mails to them with all sorts of garbage and indecent proposals of sorts. What I hated then is what I hate now: the waiting... Waiting for a reply when negotiating or waiting for a confirmation that someone (a temporarily ally for example) received your set of proposed orders, or not. Waiting for that ally to respond, hoping it's not a negative response since you only have an hour left for the deadline¦ All of this and more made me feel like I did when I was chasing after women back then: I loved the game: but hated the waiting. Like someone in our gaming group said: send mail F5 F5 F5 F5 F5, then phew¦ I think it says it all. Besides that I really put in ALOT of time into this game, with excessive writing, 'cause I want to feel like I am a nation’s leader in heavy diplomacy. However, that excessive writing and agonising crunching over the game board on all options, costs tons of time. Time which is likely well spent when you are winning, but it feels less rewarding when you conjured up nice plan in several hours, only to be betrayed by your fellow players. Basically you fall into a downward spiral of: much time spent => orders do not deliver as promised => less time spent => less quality orders => more orders do not deliver => less time spent => less quality orders => etc. etc. Also: because this game is very unforgiving it is important that you make sure everybody understands all the rules. Once a mistake is made - especially in the opening rounds (first year) - it is hard if not impossible to recover. I will play Diplomacy again, but only face-to-face or in one weekend, PBEM is not my cup of tea.
Update. Improved my rating from a 3 to a 6 after playing this on Boardgamearena. Over there you can choose the level of the opponents. So being stuck with a weak player to your left is not an issue. That makes for far more interesting plays.
I did a lot of research for my first play, and it felt pretty obvious how to play 'best'. My first two plays I won from 4 moderate players. That - to me - is not good. If you can win easily from experienced players as a beginner, something smells... My third play I had the misfortune of sitting next to someone who 'didn't know what to do' so he took the Goudzoeker (I believe it's called) and so I couldn't benefit from the ground work of someone else. That ruined it for me.
I think this is a good game, that scales well from 2 to 4. It has luck, but according to most, that can be mitigated by other factors that influence gameplay.
Edit 24-02-08: what an enjoyment this game is. I think my initial rating will be something like an 8, but I suspect it will end up a 7, due to its overwhelming luck factor. Overwhelming... not really... Luck is evened out over the course of multiple digs. But the digs ARE important and other alternatives (like exhibitions) are a bit undervalued (especially those in fact). Still, it doesn't bother game play at all.
Edit juli '09: dropped the rating... do you play the game or does the game play you. Sometimes it's so obvious what you should or shouldn't do, that the question becomes more one of: "do you see it or not".