from the Editors of The Diplomacy Briefing

Every week The Briefing publishes a roundup of Diplomacy events and innovative tactics from across the hobby. A regular feature is our Champion’s Corner, where we invite a recent tournament winner to share a move, attitude, or strategy that aided their victory. Here we collect the 17 winners of 2020 and the lessons that drove these champions to glory.

Cascadia Open: Siobhan Nolen

Siobhan talks about the successes of San Francisco residents in Canadian tournaments, the benefits of trusting Edi Birsan, and how sobriety can influence your play. She also gives some excellent advice on what to do when your ally insists on something you find unacceptable.

Published in Issue 21 on 2/14

Nexus' Season 3: Powa

Powa recommends never stabbing only to scratch, and taking the emotional temperature of an alliance. Make sure you prepare and plan for the stab aftermath, taking account of both your future pieces and your future alliances.

Published in Issue 23 on 2/28

MaccCon 3: dib

dib talks about their path to discovering Diplomacy. Their tournament win marks the last live game in our list. They held their Turkey to four centers until the final turn, when their allies in the East got so fed up with a Western Triple, they vaulted dib right to a shared board top and the tournament victory.

Published in Issue 26 on 3/20

CoronaCon: Conrad Woodring

Conrad walked away victorious from CoronaCon, the first of many online diplomacy conventions this year. They talk about the oldest Diplomacy advice, there is no advice. But seriously, try to play to your strengths, and try to be fun to play with. You never know what player will end up being the kingmaker.

Published in Issue 30 on 4/17

BPA's 2020 Online Tournament: Jeff Hayman

Jeff walks us through understanding player motivations in this tournament where they accomplished a legendary triple solo. They point out if you’re able to understand the motivation and play style of the players surrounding you, you can weather suboptimal tactics and still emerge victorious.

Published in Issue 32 on 5/1

Nexus' Season 4: PezDeMer

PezDeMer talks through playing on a board full of sharks and general principles, like favoring attack over defense. Finally, they get concrete about setting up a Western Triple, and trimming members until it’s a Western Whatever Power You’re Playing.

Published in Issue 38 on 6/12

Boston Massacre: Tanya Gill

Tanya talks about playing Diplomacy in a pandemic, and how it changed the tournament scene. They work through having fun while playing, and how their work on improving Austrian play paid off big time in the Massacre, jumping from 10, to 16, then vaulting past winning right into having 20 magnificent centers.

Published in Issue 40 on 6/26

Liberty Cup: Tommy Anderson

Tommy recounts their path to playing, then focuses on communication and seizing opportunities. Their second round victory highlights the art of patching things up if an opportunity walks by (like Germany opening against Russia), and the fine balance of working well, but not too well, with someone.

Published in Issue 46 on 8/7

Nexus Cold War Tournament: Umbletheheep

The Briefing founder Umbletheheep makes a duel appearance as champion of this Cold War variant tournament. He talks about the importance of physically understanding the board and tailoring your builds, and how creativity and flexibility lead to tactical victory.

Published in Issue 48 on 8/28

Weasel Moot: John Anderson

John discusses their final board, the Paris selection method, and the subtle signals players give off when they’re preparing to stab Germany. Their article works through balancing interests and direction on every corner of the board, and keeping your zone of control free from curious and wandering neighbors.

Published in Issue 51 on 9/11

Nexus Gunboat: EVR1022

EVR1022 double soloed and talks gunboats tactics with chess style Diplomacy puzzles in this article. They consider timing, and recommend checking in with yourself regularly to determine what's most important for your position.

Published in Issue 56 on 10/16

webDiplomacy’s ODC Tournament: Brumark

Brumarks talks about managing expectations and finding common ground as the path to tournament success. They argue that half the battle is understanding how to make your allies happy, and that understanding player motivation can lead to unexpected allies.

Published in Issue 57 on 10/23

Tempest in a Teapot: Andrei Gribakov

Andrei gives his perspective as a newer player who ended up winning a tournament. He had three main goals for victory: (1) find a strong ally immediately; (2) make myself indispensable; and (3) be patient. He also goes into depth on some strategies from each of virtual games.

Published in Issue 58 on 10/30

Carnage: Bill Hackenbracht

Bill’s impressive win over a strong field comes down to being an all around nice guy or at the very least not being a “duck” (editor’s substitution). He also encourages understanding the scoring system.

Published in Issue 61 on 11/20

Play Diplomacy Super Pastis: Badger1991

The Super Pastis tournament is based on the scoring system of the same name. Badger won an impressive final with an Italian board top, and in his article he discusses the importance of managing relations with France so you can have quick growth in the east.

Published in Issue 62 on 11/27

vDiplomacy’s Around the World: Eber Condrell

This tournament on vDiplomacy is unique in that all the players compete on 6 different maps such as Africa, Australia, Asia, South America, Europe and North America. This brings out a different skill set. Eber details his effective use of vassal powers that helped him come out on top.

Published in Issue 63 on 12/04

Virtual World Diplomacy Classic (vWDC): Morgante Pell

The vWDC tournament was the largest of the 2020 season which makes Morgante Pell’s win on the top board all the more impressive. In his article, he explains how he used BATNA to approach his negotiations and establish win conditions.

Published in Issue 67 on 1/01

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