Openings Custodian's Report for 1995

Part One: Survey of Games Catalogued

Mark Nelson

A copy of the first adjudication in regular and variant games is sent automatically to the Openings Custodian for every Judge game that is played, provided that the Judge Custodian has updated his code to include the Opening Custodian's address. The first adjudication is the movement resolution for Spring 1901, except in variants such as Machiavelli, 1897 and 1898 where the years are numbered differently. (Note that for such variants the Opening Custodian is sent the equivalent first adjudication.) I assumed the role of Openings Custodian in May 1995, accordingly my report for 1995 includes only those games which started after that date.

In this article I analyse the the gamestarts recorded in 1995 and in the Appendix the press settings used in the Gunboat games started in 1995. Table One contains the total number of regular game-starts and the number of variant game-starts. In Table Two I break down the variant gamestarts according to type. In Table Three I provide a breakdown of all game-starts by Judge. In Parts 2 through 8 of this series, I will analyse Spring 1901 openings in regular and gunboat games and in Part 9 I will analyse Spring 1901 standoffs.

Although I do not analyse openings used in the anonymous and fleet rome variants, the raw statistics (in an easy-to-understand format) are available for these variants. You can obtain them by sending email requesting them to

The opening details for the other variants are kept in a user-unfriendly database. When the total number of gamestarts, with the exception of the miscellaneous category, for any variant increase past 25 I will write the appropriate programs to generate opening details. If you are interested in a particular variant you can find out if the openings have been analysed by sending email to me at

Table One. Number of Regular and Variant Games recorded in 1995.

Table Two. A breakdown of Variant games recorded in 1995 according to type. Note that, for example, a Gunboat Asian variant is classified as an Asian variant.
1897 2
1898 13
Aberration 1
Anonymous 55
Asia 1
Britain 1
Chromatic 1
Colonial 1
Crowded 5
Fleet Rome 29
Gunboat 52
Intimate 3
Machiavelli 3
Miscellaneous 19
Modern 9
Youngstown 5

The miscellaneous category comprises the following named-variants: 1 Alliance Variant, 1 Capitals Variant, 2 Chaos II games, 1 Federalist game, 1 Proxy Variant and 4 Transparency games (variable press). The un-named variants were: a game where Boh is a neutral supply centre, a game where England starts with F(Bre) and France with F(Bel), three five-player games (EFIRT), a game where Italy is normal and all the other powers have five supply centers, a game where Munich is not a supply center but Germany starts with F(Den), a game in which all coastal armies in Spring 1901 become fleets and a game that is very similar to Winter 1900.

Table Three. A breakdown of game starts recorded in 1995 according to the Judge running them.

Appendix One. Analysis of Press Settings in Gunboat Games

The following table shows what which settings have been used in the games in this survey. Games recorded as "No Details" were games run on USCA, which crashed before I was able to ascertain the press settings. It's possible that games recorded as "No Details" were not gunboat games, they might be anonymous games wrongly classified as gunboat or a minor-change variant which does not have its own flag. That the Judge does not distinguish between Anonymous and Gunboat games in its adjudication reports is an, allbeit minor, flaw.

Press Setting Gamestarts

At a later date it will be interesting to see what influence the press setting in gunboat games have on Spring 1901 openings and on the frequency/location of Spring 1901 standoffs; do games with fake-partial and/or grey-press have more standoffs?

Mark Nelson

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