Starting with only one unit - first priority is to find an acceptable expansion and determine who my friends were. Moved to RAK so as to be able to take any one of three supply centers. US and Iran both wanted my help in their spat over Iraq. I had no interest in getting involved. Israel agreed to a DMZ in JOR.

Took YEM as part of a play to support France's wing in DJI. This on behalf of the E group's wish to remove China from Africa. US and Iran movements did not conform with their stated intentions, and I realized neither were interested in friendship.

Built A RIY

Against my conservative judgement, took DJI from China. This worked against Egypt, but for France and Kenya. I also took Mecca.

Israel violated the DMZ (as seemed to be his plan the entire time), and had three units possible to invade the arabian peninsula.

I knew I was dead.

Lost Mecca, Riyadh, and Yemen to the well executed Israel attack...and a USA stab. That left me with just the A in DJI.

Knowing DJI was going to be attacked to eliminate me, I tried to move to SOM, but was bounced. All was over...but I managed to convince Kenya that if I retreated to ETH...I would swear eternal fealty to him.

I cooperated with Egypt and Kenya's plans to remove US from DJI. Operating as an adjunct of the Kenya empire.

Kenya ordered me to convoy my army to the South African front, in a highly risky move that most likely would have resulted in my death. Took the cowards way out and stabbed Kenya with Egypt...despite knowing Egypt was likely hoping to kill me shortly thereafter. Survival was paramount. This action completely destroyed Kenya's position, and likely ruined the game for him.

(Not) My finest hour.

Egypt supported me into Kenya. He wanted my forces alive so he could make sure Israel didn't stab him and the Tunisia invasion. That worked out well for me.

Built a wing in Ethiopia at Egypt's request. This was too naive of me. I shouldn't have trusted Egypt, but at this point Egypt and Israel were the only nations remotely interested in me.

Coordinated with Egypt to move his armies to the Nigeria front and his fleet to Zanzibar. Effectively beating down Kenya, and ending my usefulness to Egypt.

Egypt inserts the knife, knowing that Kenya was gone, he determined to end my existence as well. I, however, refused to go down entirely, retreating further south...

...disbanding my wing in Ethiopia (my only held supply center). If this game was going to be about my silly and stupid quest for survival by riding the fine line between oblivion and my opponents desire for more nuclear weapons instead of armies...so be it. The great trek was on.

My only army was in TAN and my only goal was to find some place to land it in the fall that was an un-nuked supply center. Egypt and Nigeria were closing off the routes to the north....South Africa would close off my routes to the east...so down the Rift Valley we went...trusting that one of ZAM, LUA, or DAR would be open to move to in the fall.

South Africa has been nuked into oblivion, and I head into unoccupied Zambia. Just ahead of Nigeria's armies. Could I manage to stay alive in South Africa's abandoned supply centers before the Argentinians took over?

Both Nigeria and Argentina call for me to sacrifice myself for their gain. Nigeria was the most trustworthy, at least plausibly offering plans for my potential survival. Argentina was pretty much 'help me and die.' So I moved unexpectedly, but to a position I could still support Nigeria (to Mozambique). Nigeria was ok with this move. Class act.

My luck runs out. Nigeria and I make a potentially successful attack into Zimbabwe...but Argentina / Australia pay me a compliment...and actually pay attention and squash my attack with their forces and the last gasp of South Africa.

It was an interesting game. I wish I'd have been able to experiment with nuclear weapons, but with Israel going after me so early...that wasn't ever likely to happen.

I wasn't able to give this game as much time as I used to give to past Diplomacy games (due to having a family now), which definitely made my play decidedly less robust than it should have been.

The E powers discussion surrounding UNTF voting was a farce from beginning to end. At first, it showed promise...until we all realized that Russia (and other major powers) were using MAD orders to build up a bunch of vassal E states. So anything we decided was dutifully reported straight to the big powers who then drummed up support to kill our motions. I stopped even caring about the UNTF half way through the game because A) I knew it would never help me, and B) No one cared enough to make viable requests for support that had any in-game logic. When you are a one-unit force in the mid-game...everyone just wants you gone.

Also, several E powers were increasingly emotional and started long threads accusing others of vendettas. All junior high level drama stuff that wasn't relevant. There was a lot of unhealthy metagaming going on by people who were cited by Jon Laker as being the reason he decided to play two accounts.

Egypt (Thorn) kept me in this game. His encouragement, even when he was actively trying to kill me...was important. He was the only country to recognize our epic quest for survival throughout the game...and was also impressed by our run of luck through 2006.

I'm saddened that Jon Laker resorted to such cheating, as he was courteous, polite, diplomatic, and ruthless. His exit and the breakdown between Egypt and Israel removed the protection of the only country still interested in my survival (because it amused Thorn). I do think that just dealing with Jon's treachery is not enough. Jon posted some serious grievances relating to the tone of communication from several players, and based on the amount of histrionic spam I received from those sources...I think it worthwhile to investigate whether those claims were true.

Diplomacy thrives on being a game, and emotional assaults are not good form and can be poisonous to the community, as we saw in this game.

After my elimination, I didn't participate much in the remainder of the game...due to work pressures and general life. I will check out this board for future diplomacy games, but likely not NWO. I still prefer the classic board.