Pouch Deposits

The Editor and the Readership

This time, we hear from one of the variant designers whose work was examined in the Variant Overview column!

As always, we encourage you to write even more. Let us know what parts of the Pouch you like, what we could improve, and what other items you'd like to see. We want your input!

Mail Received Concerning
The National Diplomacy Scholarship

From David Norman (david@ellought.demon.co.uk):


I've just read the National Diplomacy Scholarship article on the new issue of the Pouch.

Are you aware of the Diplomacy Travel fund? It already exists, and I believe, has a four-figure amount already in the account, for players who want assistance with the cost of travelling to Diplomacy conventions.

Mail Received Concerning
Variant Overview: Renaissance

From Michael Cuffalo(m_cuffa@yahoo.com):

I'm the principal designer of the Renaissance variant and I just now read your review in the Spring 2007 Movement Issue of the Zine.

Thank you very much for reviewing the variant! Thank you also for the positive comments. I'm glad that people are enjoying it.

FYI I playtested the variant on the Cat23 group a few times (less than five) and Poland usually did much better, while often the Ottoman Empire did not manage to break out of its corner position in time to rival Venice and HRE. Strangely enough, England usually did not do nearly as well in my playtests as in the judge games.

FYI a little history, re: Poland. In the original version of this variant I had a Russian power in Moscow, Sev, and StP. But after four or five playtets resulted in a solo for Russia each time (coupled with early defeat for HRE) I knew something was wrong. The solution was to move one of the centers closer to the action in order to make it a little more vulnerable to HRE. The playtests of version II seemed to be successful: Russia/Poland was no longer dominant but still did reasonably well.

Actually my main concern initially was that Spain was too weak due to the spread out nature of its SCs and also due to heavy competition for the Meditteranean area, and that was borne out in the few playtests I had done - though it was arguable whether this was due to bad luck (Spain usually got the short end of the stick in terms of player quality). But I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it is holding its own on the judge.

BTW: If you're, interested here are some stats on the playtests I ran on Cat23 for the Renaissance v.2 variant. I do not have info on surviving powers, but I am pretty sure (though I may be wrong) that in the first two games Poland finished somewhere in the middle of the pack:

game 1:Venetian solo.
game 2: HRE solo.
game 3: 4-way draw: England, France, Poland, Venice.

Well, there you have it. Another Deposits column. Yep, it sure is.