About The Diplomatic Pouch

Simon Szykman, Guest Editor


Happy New Year, and welcome back to the Zine. We've got a nice plump issue for you so I'll keep this brief.

Diplomacy Legend Manus Hand is currently in Sweden, with Diplomacy World Champion Pitt Crandlemire (quoted* as saying "Everything I learned about playing Diplomacy I learned from The Pouch"), who is defending his title whilst I type, and Larry Peery, another regular contributor. I was hoping to get a late breaking update about what's been happening there, but no word yet.

(* Fake quote) Next, I'd personally like to thank all the people who contributed to this issue, particularly the first-time contributors who responded to Manus' call for more contributions last issue.

Lastly, Manus usually uses the Pouch Deposits section to set up a theme for replies for the following issue. I'd like to do something similar here, but I'd like to take input from readers and compile it into an article instead of just next issue's Pouch Deposits.

The Idea
I'd like to write an article entitled Double-Barreled Shotgun Openings, the "shotgun" indicating "fast" and the "double" part referring to two powers. The idea is this: Pick a pair of powers on the standard map. Then pick a third power adjacent to them. Assume the first two powers are completely allied and trust one another completely. Assume they want to eliminate the third power, and further assume that they have each convinced their own neighbors to remain peaceful so that they can dedicate all their forces against this third power.

Now assume that the third power does a typical opening (several powers have more than one typical opening, so pick your favorite one). How should the first two powers move to most quickly eliminate the third? Most likely, the third power will know he's in trouble by the end of Spring 1901, and if not, definitely by the end of the Fall. Accordingly, you'll have to assume he'll do whatever he can to defend himself.

What I'm asking people to do is work out a scenario for a full-steam attempt by two powers to eliminate a third, and send me the moves. How quickly can two powers guarantee the elimination of the third (still assuming that no other powers get involved in either side of the conflict)? By 1903? 1904? It will depend on the choice of powers.

To get a rough idea of what I'm talking about, read Edi Birsan's article about the Sealion Opening, which gave me the idea of the Double-Barreled Shotgun Openings. However, he doesn't carry the scenario out to it's completion, and FG vs. E is one of the less complicated ones.

Pick any trio of neighboring powers and give it a try. Note that trios include EFG, IFG, IGA, GAR, ART, AIT, etc., and each trio will have one to three permutations for a Double-Barreled Shotgun Opening depending on who neighbors who.

So there's the challenge. Email me your ideas, and I'll have something put together for the next issue. I hope you enjoy this issue of The Pouch!

Simon Szykman, Guest Editor
(simon@diplomatic-pouch.com)

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