I was introduced to the game by Sassenach and I have to say that it was a real step-up compared to the diplomacy games I'd played in the past ... wings (?) and nukes (?!) were intimidating features let alone the scale of the map but I found the game highly entertaining and it was great to see it was taken seriously by most, if not all, the players.

Sweden, Poland and myself coordinated well at first as we teamed up to combat any Russian growth into Eastern Europe. I hadn't quite realised, however, how vulnerable Poland was to German expansion though and a firm alliance of the three of us to combat Germany collapsed. Personally I think if Randy had wanted to organise an anti German move at this point it could have been achieved, but looking back on I believe his relations with Germany were stronger than he let on. Randy also had his eyes on the already very wounded Russian bear.

Although I remained friendly with Randy (Sweden) until just before the end, I did realise that he was playing a very clever game, always sending out the right messages but ultimately always looking out for himself. Well played Randy.

For me the big worry was always German expansion which was strange because as the game evolved he became my best ally, before then being the player to knock me out of the game. Patrick supported me against Italy who I had found difficult to deal with given his reluctance to allow me any neutral supply centres bordering his territory. While the cat and mouse diplomacy ensued between Italy and myself (I very nearly trusted Dag at a crucial moment despite the perpetual mismatch between his messages and early orders) going against Italy seemed to make sense as I had the blessing and support of my other neighbours (France and Germany). Going against Turkey might have worked but we had developed a fairly mutually beneficial (if a little tense) non aggression pact. Also, given the mess of Middle East politics there was no obvious candidate to work with me against Turkey.

My growth then slowed as other powers begin to expand at a rate I could only dream of. By the end of turn 5, I was slightly floundering and then came a German stab in turn 6. Common sense and Patrick's treatment of France had warned that me that this would happen but I had hoped for one more year ... until that point Patrick had been too nice a neighbour! It was indeed too good to last.

The game then rapidly slip away from me as nukes filled the sky and first the US and then Europe became a wasteland. This was a bit of a shock; as a newcomer, I hadn't quite realised how devastating these nukes I could be. Feedback from other players, however, indicates that this game was an unusual one in that Rob (China) soon emerged as the world's overwhelmingly strong nuclear power so it's not my place to criticise the strength of nukes.

All in all, I found the game highly enjoyable, a great introduction. Thanks all!
Adam (Serbian Crown Prince)