Impressions from DipCon

Buz Eddy

Editor's Note: This is a rerun of an article that appeared in the S1998R issue. It's surprising to see so many familiar names still actual today. His generation has not vanished yet, whatever the doomsayers may say.

Seventy-seven players gathered to play at the 1998 DixieCon, DipCon, World DipCon, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina May 22-25, 1998. Chris Martin won the event with a solo win and a two-way draw.

The WorldDipCon is held in the US in even numbered years and will be in Baltimore in 2000. The 1999 DipCon will be in Columbus, OH.

David Hood and Mike Lowry, the principals of the Carolina Amateur Diplomats ran an excellent event, with a good combination of Diplomacy and other gaming opportunities. Settler seemed to be the game of choice for pick up mind relaxation.

Eleven three person teams signed up for the team competition. It was won by the Internet team of Manus Hand, Vincent Maus, and David Norman. Manus finished 5th, Vincent 12th and David 15th.

For your writer this was the fourth DipCon and I finished in the middle of the pack. Which is better than 1992 and 1996 where I had one 7-way draw in 6 games, but short of last year in Seattle where I finished second. (It helps to have a small local field, and it help even more to write the rules to your own style).

The reason that I delight in the opportunity to go to the national tournaments is to renew acquaintances with the regulars and to meet people that I have been playing with or working with to promote the game of Diplomacy. I met Manus Hand and Tim Richardson of the Diplomatic Pouch, four people from my AOL Diplomacy group, and four people I have only known through postal Diplomacy.

I also met Mark Franceschini which for a few minutes I knew all 10 of the players that made up the top ten of my American Diplomacy Ratings list. But I didnít meet either Chris Martin or John Quarto who blasted their way into the magic circle by their performances at this tournament.

The other reason I delight in the opportunity to go to national tournaments is that the play of the game is often much better than I encounter elsewhere. I enjoy the game of Diplomacy more than any other game I have found. At the DipCons I have seen play that is powerful, persuasive and psychologically mind-bending.

One of the most memorable moments of this event was provided by one of my AOL buddies, Eric Grinnell. He was royally stabbed by my long time good friend from postal Diplomacy, Melinda Holley. He took it in good grace by stomping across the room uttering loud and somewhat obscene protestations.

I got to play with some of the people that I know to be very good Diplomacy players. Edi Birsan, who finished fourth, has written more quality analytical material on the game than any other two people I know of. This was my second chance to play Tom Kobrin and he continues to be one of the consistently best players of the game. This was my first opportunity to meet and play Mark Fassio. His third place finish is deserved. He is clearly among the most accomplished players of the game.

There are at least three more opportunities to enjoy tournament Diplomacy this year. Origins, in Columbus, on July 4th week-end, AvalonCon in Baltimore on the first week-end in August. (contact Dan Mathias for particulars) and Dragonflight in Seattle, on the week-end before Labor Day (contact me, Buz Eddy). There is something memorable about playing in a tournament and regardless of the result I have always enjoyed the experience. Give yourself a real treat and play in a Diplomacy tournament.

Buz Eddy

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