I promised this and I apologize to Mike that it has taken so long to get it up. I have been playing Diplomacy for almost 25 years and I can still count on one hand how many times I have played France. This means I don't really have any set strategies other then pick Germany or England as a target and go after them. So I figured I would send emails to them both and whichever responded not necessarily first but best would be not be my target. I had some really good conversations with England but nothing really concrete. I heard nothing at all from Germany. The problem is that I completely forgot Germany was going to be away for the first week of the game. Unfortunately, this meant I picked Germany as first target.

If I was honest about it though, I would probably have targeted Germany first either way. The army heavy force France ends up with after a German war is more effective for mid-game growth then the Fleet heavy force an English war requires. So I started moving my forces to attack Germany. I wanted to be able to get the southern angle on him so I asked Italy's permission to move through Piedmont to get to Tyrolia. He said he would allow it but asked me to wait a couple of turns. I waited two turns and asked again. Italy again asked me to wait. I decided I couldn't so made the moves and then wrote him that I was sorry but I couldn't wait anymore. I promised I would move out the next turn. Guy seemed to accept it.

At this point Russia started sending me emails saying I would be silly to attack Italy with 1 army and 1 fleet. I had to be doing England's bidding which was a mistake. It was never my intent to attack Italy. Germany was always my target. I moved out of Piedmont and into Tyrolia as soon as possible. That made Italy very happy and began one of the more interesting relationships I have ever had in Diplomacy. We never really allied and almost always had units on each other borders but we communicated a lot and worked together for the rest of the game.

While it was never really official, France, England and Italy worked as a de facto triple in my mind. Austria fell quick. Then Germany went down and Russia was looking to fall apart quickly once I got some armies adjacent to Warsaw. At this point Graham asked me what I saw as the end game, Did I want to finish off as the triple or was I willing to take out Italy and finish with an Anglo-French two way. I told him that based on the house rule of DIAS I didn't think we could finish with just the two of us. That we needed Italy to take out Turkey. Besides, Italy had been straight with me all game and I couldn't justify stabbing him. The next turn England stabbed me.

I wasn't really surprised by it as I had been expecting it for a while. That was part of the reason I had my units positioned as they were so that if England did stab me, I wouldn't be wide open to him. After it happened, Italy guaranteed to support me in that war with England so I wasn't all that worried. Then the DIAS proposal came out. I will say I was a bit surprised it passed.

For the specific comments.

GM - Mike, thanks for a great game. one of my better experiences with a GM. You were always on time and no mistakes.

Austria - Jeff, we didn't get to really play much. You asked me to try and mediate with the others for you. I tried. However, Brad wasn't responding while Guy and Darren weren't interested.

England - Graham, it was a interesting game with you. I will be honest I don't think I was ever sure if we were allied or not. That was part of the reason my communications in late game became so rare. I didn't want to tell you too much because I wasn't sure it wouldn't be used against me. I knew this might mean you would attack me but I was hoping the Russian blood in the water would keep your attention. Also, contrary to what you thought, I wasn't waiting until I got your email to develop my plans. I usually had a plan or 2 in mind. Each was based on what I thought you would do. So, when you emailed your moves, I just went with the plan that fit your moves best.

Germany - Steve. It was a good game. You put up a really good fight. I think you may have had the same problem I did in that you weren't sure who your allies were.

Italy - Guy, thank you for an great game. I wouldn't have ended up as well as I did without your patience. I agree that it was one of the more interesting non-alliance alliances I have ever played. I always try to stay as close to my word in Diplomacy as I can. I am not saying I never lie in Diplomacy. I just try not to do it often and if I promise something, I try real hard to stick to that. It doesn't always work but I was able to in this game.

Russia - Darren. I kind of feel like I owe you an apology. We started the game with some great communications. I kind of felt we had an agreement that while we weren't really going to ally in the early game we wouldn't do anything to hurt the other. Then, in mid-game, we would ally and start to work together. Then we stopped writing each other. However, I felt like you started to help Germany to hold against me so when it came time for the mid-game alliance to kick in, I never started writing again and didn't abide by that agreement.

Turkey - Brad, we barely talked this game which is odd for you and I. Even if we are not near each other, or are on opposite sides of an alliance, we usually still have a lively communication going. I will say during the game I was surprised at your apparent absence from the game. I now understand why and hope everything is getting better.

Well, I guess that wraps up this EoG. I would also like to echo Mike's disappointment in no other EoG's. I like to read them just to see how far off my understanding for the game really was.