Where There’s a Weasel, There’s a Way In Chicago

By Jim O’Kelley

Life is good in Chicago. Since forming in September 2005, the Windy City Weasels have met six times, playing a total of seven games. To date, 21 different players have joined us, and about a dozen others have expressed an interest. There are a few sharks in our group, but most of the players are either learning the game or rediscovering it after having played in college.

We’ve been busy so far this year, with single boards in January, April and May, and two boards in March. We’re now gearing up for a multi-board session on August 12. We’re optimistic that we can fill three boards.

If we can pull that off, it will be quite a feat considering that when I started the group, I could only convince one of my close friends to play. To fill that first board way back in September, I utilized the Informal Gatherings feature on the Diplomatic Pouch and the hobby registry on the old NADF website.

I also went to boardgamegeek.com and searched for people in the area, then checked each of their profiles to see a) whether they owned a copy of Diplomacy and b) whether they had rated it six or higher on a scale of one to 10. If the answer to both was yes, I emailed them. This search took quite a bit of effort, and the results were bleak. Only one guy emailed me back, and his work schedule precluded his participation.

I had more luck with my monthly boardgame club. I was able to convince two of them to play in the first game, and one guy brought a friend. Two other members of that club have played with us.

Finally, I posted a message at DipWorld, the online community where I play Diplomacy by email (games.groups.yahoo.com/group/dipworld/).

After our first game, I created a Yahoo group for the Weasels (games.groups.yahoo.com/group/ChicagoDip/), and now players are finding us.

So, we’ve built a nice core of committed players, we’re hosting regular games, and our group continues to grow. Our goal is to host a multi-round tournament sometime in 2007, which we’ll call Weasel Moot.

If you’re in the Chicago area and want to join us, or if you’d just like to follow our progress, please join our Yahoo group. Hope to see you over a board soon!

Jim O'Kelley

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