I first started playing Diplomacy after I stumbled upon on it on Wikipedia. It looked extremely interesting, so I decided to give it a try. Therefore, I found a rulebook online, found six other guys willing to give it a whirl, and we started our first online game. Later I actually bought a real game board, and by the second online game, everyone had a firm grip on both the rules and the way Diplomacy was played. However, as I scanned the Pouch, reading old articles, and playing online at Playdip.com, I began to see a gaping difference between my "home field" play, and the bigger, online and world wide play. Therefore, I decided to make a few interesting points that I don't think have been discussed at the pouch yet — playing with novices.
First off, I want to make clear that by novice, I don't mean "never played before, first game ever" novice. I mean one who, although he or she has played several games with people he/she knows, has never played online, or read any strategy. Therefore, when you play with these sorts of players, what is usually considered the norm in online Diplomacy is often thrown out the window. The statistics of such games are also very different than for the online games. For instance, according to major statistics published on this very website, Russia and France are considered the best countries on the board. However, in the five official games played without any online 'pros,' France has the second worst rating. Russia has the third worst rating (in case you are wondering, Austria is first, and it is simply dreaded in our club of players). Nevertheless, there are several things to consider while playing with novices.
If you wish to e-mail feedback on this article to the author, and clicking on the envelope above does not work for you, feel free to use the "Dear DP..." mail interface.