…Diplomacy in Austria?

by Sebastian Beer

In part 1 of this series concerning WDC 2008 in Austria, we took a closer look at the host country and everything you need to know about its culture, customs, and oddities. Today we are going into details: I'm going to tell you more about Diplomacy in Austria, what an Austrian DipCon usually looks like, and many more secrets of the Austrian Hobby you need to know in order to participate successfully at next years WDC. (In case you wonder why I don't simply give you the hard facts you need to register and leave it with a few words: I planned to do it exactly that way, but Charles kept urging me to write yet another article over the past couple of months, and somehow I surrendered. Never mind. If you only want hard facts, take a look at our website www.wdc2008.org; you'll find everything you need to know there. Briefly, and without me desperately trying to be funny. Otherwise: read on, but I warned you, right?)

Tu Felix Austria

"Tu Felix Austria" is the first (and so far only) Austrian Diplomacy Association. This is the hard core of everything concerning Diplomacy in Austria. In fact, if one wants to say "Diplomacy" in Austria, one says "TFA" instead, and everyone understands. We are a couple of boys and girls (yes) who meet regularly to talk beer and drink business, which means discussing how to organize our next Con. Organizing, by the way, is our second passion, runner up only to Diplomacy. In the five years we've been meeting regularly, we have successfully organized four national DipCons — also known as the FAT (Felix Austria Tournament) — so far, and are now facing the slightly bigger challenge of WDC 2008.


The first Austrian National Cons were organized by a different group of players in the 80s and 90s. They are older than our current group, and none of us ever saw one of them: so we call them "the Dinosaurs" [I apologize if one of them reads this! :o) ].

However in time they obviously lost interest, and by the mid 90s no longer organized Cons in Austria. Ten years later, we took over. We found ourselves a beautiful lodge in the mountains close to Vienna as a venue. The FAT 2004 event was (numerically) dominated by locals and our German friends (we are very closely linked to the larger German hobby). There were only two real international players, Yann Clouet and René van Rooijen — who consequently failed to let some local guy win the tournament, finishing first and second. But FAT soon became well known not only for being a fine place to play Diplomacy, but also for being a perfect location to socialize with new acquaintances, drink, play different games, and drink. Did I just mention "drinking" twice? That wasn't by accident. Given the fine food (full board!) and the quality of wine and beer as well as the unusual guys and girls you meet there, FAT is also known as the "Rivendell of Diplomacy" — an attribution that is beyond my qualifications to judge.

For pictures of previous years' FAT events, please visit http://www.tu-felix-austria.org/fat2004/galerie.php and/or http://img.tu-felix-austria.org/galerie.php?s=30.

Playing Diplomacy in Austria

What is so different about playing Diplomacy in Austria that this Beer guy keeps writing a whole series of articles about it, you ask? Well, there are a lot of points we attach great importance to when organizing a Con in Austria:

  1. Getting there and back again. We try to make it as easy as possible to come to our venue and get back again. We provide rides for everyone from (and to) Vienna, especially for people coming from far away. This is not standard at Cons, as far as we've witnessed in the last couple of years, but seems important to us.

  2. Socializing. Our view is that Diplomacy is not the only reason why people attend DipCons, so we try to provide enough time to play different games, get people together, and create a real "Con-feeling". Thus, we also tend to keep the flock together, which means that once you are at the venue, you stay there. You eat, drink, play, and do whatever you're up to at the same place. You really get to know your fellow players (and do the touristy things before and after the Con). Our Diplomacy games all end in the evening, so you have enough time to do all the other stuff you came for.

  3. Location. We try to hold our Cons at places you could also come to in order to enjoy the place even without Diplomacy. Heck, people DO go there to see the places and enjoy being there without playing. FAT was held at a beautiful lodge on top of a mountain, at a natural resort with a fantastic view over south-eastern Austria. The lodge itself is over 100 years old, and used as an inn nowadays. The place to serve as venue for WDC is even better — check it out at our website, or wait for part three of this series! :o)

  4. Prices. We understand that money matters to most of you. So in order to attract a lot of players, we try to make their visit as inexpensive as possible. Usually, it is possible to get three nights and full board (three breakfasts, three lunches and three suppers) for less than 100.- Euros (about 140.- US Dollars at the moment), registration fee already included! We are happy to tell you that we can keep up these prices for WDC 2008, providing even better conditions than we've had at FAT so far. If that is too little luxury for you, there are always better (and more expensive) options close to the venue (at WDC even AT the venue). Again, check our website for those packages.

So, I hope you now have a better sense of what it is like to play at an Austrian Con. If you liked this preview, maybe we'll see you at WDC 2008 in Austria. There is more information to come concerning WDC 2008 — I promise to be back next issue of the Pouch for part three!

In the meantime, you can always visit our main site at:


Where the facts about WDC 2008 are all available!

Sebastian Beer

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