The Editor and the Readership
Well, okay, since this is the first-ever adjustment issue, I'll choose a topic having to do with adjustments. How about this? Let's discuss removes and waived builds. Where and when to take these are obviously situation specific, but let's explore them anyway.
As far as removes go, I'm curious to know whether you think it is more common and/or desirable to remove a unit at home or one which has reached an advanced position, perhaps behind enemy lines. Obviously, much depends on the reason for your remove and the position of enemy units, so I don't know exactly what I'm looking for here, but perhaps this will at least spark some discussion. If nothing else, we may see some interesting thought on the reasons to consider "non-intuitive" removes.
For waived builds, I myself can find on the top of my head four reasons for taking them. Hoping that keeping these reasons to myself will at least get one other person to send in a deposit, I think I'll just leave the subject at that. Let's discuss the why and when of waived builds.
Okay, you may begin depositing now.
I have been playing Diplomacy for about a year and a half and have gone through a gamut of different emotions during this time. When Manus Hand first introduced me to this wonderful game (I wasn't living for over 30 years until I found Dip :) ), I had a hard time separating myself in Dip and myself in real life. The first game I was in was a local game at work where I knew everyone well. We were all very good friends. Well, I began to realize that I needed to fudge a bit on the truth to be successful in this game. Problem was, I began to worry that my friends would realize that I was a damn good liar! I didn't want them to begin to think that I was a trustful person in real life! I remember spending a lot of time talking to Manus about how to separate Dip from real life. Of course, shortly after that, I stabbed Manus (I was Austria, doing very well, and Manus was Italy) and felt so awful that I was about to pull back and allow Manus to return to strength.
This is a difficult issue to deal with, but I was eventually able to separate my Dip world from real world. I still feel most comfortable playing in gunboat games so that I don't have a personal attachment to another player in the game so it is easier to decide to turn on an ally than in games where I know people. Even in standard games, I've made the mistake of getting to know people personally, talking about our jobs, families, lives, etc. I enjoy doing it because you can make great friends over the Internet this way, but then it becomes difficult because you've spent all this time getting to know a player, discussing a long term Diplomacy friendship, and then you anger them by stabbing them!
Maybe I have too much of a conscience, but I've decided I won't let these difficulties keep me from playing the greatest game in the world! I think as long as people realize that we are playing a game, and that's all it is, a game (albeit a great game!), they shouldn't take anything done in a game personally. Some of us may be better than others when it comes to lying (a term I hate, by the way!) or being dishonest, but this quality (whether viewed as good or bad) should be kept within the confines of the game.
Serbia is the most important land province. Since it has no coast, its secure owner has the land power to rule Austria and the Balkans. Like the North Sea, it exerts influence on six supply centers (including itself). For Austria, it represents security; for Russia and Turkey, the crucial first phase of the juggernaut.
Just as the North Sea is the key to the Northern Seas, the Ionian Sea is the key to the Southern Seas. It is crucial at the beginning of the game, securing containment of Turkey or conversely a breakout of Austrian or Turkish fleets. It is likewise important at the end of the game, for it has a say in which side of the Mid-Mediterranean stalemate line Tunis falls on.
The Mid-Atlantic Ocean is the waterway that links the Southern and Northern Seas. For a Southern power, it represents a breakout from the Mediterranean; for a Northern power the way in. For both it is crucial in controlling the Iberian centers and with them France's home centers.
It seems that the territories on my list are polarized into inland and open sea holdings. The fifth most important province is Munich. Landlocked like Serbia, it takes several armies to hold securely. For Germany this is key, because it is difficult to reclaim. Munich exerts influence over four other important inland provinces. Burgundy, a step away, lays open France. Ruhr or Silesia are the first steps of any land invasion of Germany. Finally, Tyrolia is needed for any land invasion of Austria or Italy, by Germany or each other.
The Baltic Sea is the sixth most important province. It borders four supply centers, and is crucial to Germany and Russia in efforts against each other, providing key support to Scandinavian superiority or a land invasion of the neighbor's home centers.
The seventh most important province is the Black Sea. Why are five of the top seven locations waterways? 27 of 34 supply centers have a coastline. Each of these may border two others, but the waterways between them border more. The Black Sea borders five. Getting a single fleet into it is usually sufficient to hold it. This fleet can support armies around the perimeter, heavily influencing all five centers, and indirectly, Smyrna.
Runners-Up include Spain (left out because the Mid-Atlantic can usually control it), Denmark (usually controlled by the Baltic and North Seas), and St. Petersburg (once taken from Russia, it can easily be held against her; therefore it is imperative that Russia keep it free for the construction of northern fleets).