Where to Buy Diplomacy

By Simon Szykman

NOTE: The information below is outdated.
This guide is now being regularly updated in the Online Resources section.
Click here to get the latest information.

The frequency of posts to rec.games.diplomacy asking about buying Diplomacy has been increasing recently, so I decided to to a little bit of online research and put together a short buyer's guide for people who are trying to get their hands on the game. Now when the question comes up in the future, people can be directed to the guide.

If you find this article useful, let me know. If there seems to be enough interest, I will move the guide to the Online Resources and I'll make an effort to keep the information in it current. Otherwise, the information will inevitably get outdated with time. Most of my digging around is pretty recent so the information should be reasonably accurate if you aren't reading this too long after its publication (in early February, 2000)

So, if you are in the market for the game of Diplomacy, read on. There are still some deals to be had out there. You can read the whole page or use the following links to skip to a specific section you are interested in.

Finding the Diplomacy Board Game New

Hasbro was supposed to release their board game version of Diplomacy for the 1999 holiday season, but they didn't make their deadline. Supposedly, they are supposed to be releasing the game by mid-March. I haven't heard anything about pricing. Update: Latest word as of February 4th is that the new Hasbro version should be hitting store shelves in approximately three weeks, with a retail price in the high $40s.

I was able to find several places that still sell various versions of Avalon Hill's Diplomacy. I'm including multiple sources rather than just the least expensive ones for several reasons. First, prices may change, second, not all of them ship internationally, and third, depending on where you want the game shipped to and how quickly you want it shipped, the lowest price after shipping might not be from the company that has the lowest price for the game alone.

A couple of other notes: The prices below do not include shipping. Check the vendor's web pages for more information about shipping costs. I came across a couple of pages that listed items that were specifically indicated as being out of stock, and therefore I left those off the list. For vendors that didn't indicate an item as being out of stock, I didn't make any additional effort to confirm that the game actually was in stock. Lastly, I'm not endorsing any of the companies below. I haven't personally dealt with any of them other than Avalon Hill and Amazon.com so I don't vouch for their reliability. (If you've had any experiences with any of these companies, good or bad, let me know in case I continue to maintain and update the buyer's guide.)

Discount Games
Colonial Diplomacy: $44.00 via this link (the link brings up several items but I was told over the phone that the $44 Colonial is the only one in stock).
They ship internationally.
Note: I would suggest you call or email before ordering. Their prices look like prices for full games, but it is not clear what the "categories" listed on their web page mean (e.g. "Core Rules").

Colonial Diplomacy: $29.99 via this link.
Shipping within the United States only.

Wizards Tower
Colonial Diplomacy: $44.00 via this link.
They ship internationally.

Colonial Diplomacy: Regularly $54.99, currently on sale for $49.99 via this link.
They ship internationally.

Avalon Hill
Colonial Diplomacy: $55.00 via this link.
Shipping within the United States only.

Canadian residents may save on shipping costs with the following vendor, located in Canada:
Imperial Hobbies
Deluxe Diplomacy: $CND 82.95
Colonial Diplomacy: $CND 82.95, both via this link.
They ship internationally

You can also sometimes find new copies of Diplomacy at varying prices on auction. See the next section for more information.

Finding the Diplomacy Board Game Used

I found a couple of small online shops that sold copies of Diplomacy games used, but none that were great bargains. Because of that, and because none had more than one copy in stock (meaning that any listing I gave would be useless as soon as one person bought that item), I haven't included those stores here.

The best recommendation I can make for buying copies of the game used is to buy them at an online auction. The advantages of buying on auction is that if you are willing to accept a used copy of the game, you can generally (though not always) get a better deal than buying new. The other advantage is that if you are interested in specific versions of the game, you will rarely be able to find them except for used, and the easiest way to find them is on auction.

Amazon.com, Yahoo, and MSN all have online auctions. Pickings here are slim, and while it can't hurt to check, more likely than not you will not find any copies of Diplomacy for sale there.

By far, the most popular online auction (in terms of items for sale and number of buyers) and the one I would recommend is Ebay. At any given time, Ebay usually has over a half dozen Diplomacy items for sale. At the time of this writing, there are 11 Diplomacy items up for auction, and over 30 others have sold over the past couple of weeks.

The most common item on Ebay is the 1976 Avalon Hill edition with plastic pieces, usually used but new ones come up often if you are willing to check back from time to time. Editions of Avalon Hill Diplomacy with wooden pieces come up relatively often, and Deluxe Diplomacy comes up from time to time as well. If you check back often, you will come across plenty of other editions that come up, including older (1961 and 1971) editions by Games Research Inc., non-U.S. editions by Waddingtons/House of Games. Less common, but still there from time to time, are copies of Machiavelli and individual copies of the Gamer's Guide to Diplomacy. You can occasionally find unopened copies of these older versions of Diplomacy, but if you are looking for unopened ones, it may take a bit of patience before one comes along.

You can get a list of Diplomacy items on auction at Ebay via this link.

Finding Good Deals on the MicroProse Computer Version of Diplomacy (and software in general)

As a caveat, the MicroProse computer version of Diplomacy has not received the greatest of reviews from the media or from users. You might want to check past discussions on rec.games.diplomacy (e.g. at Deja.com) for opinions.

I do give some tips for getting discounts on software that people can use for software other than Diplomacy, so you may want to read on anyway for your general interest. I haven't bought the computer version of Diplomacy myself, but I have used the tips I mention to get discounts on other software (and non-software products for that matter).

The first suggestion is for you to become acquainted with sites that have online coupons and discount codes for online stores. The two I check most often are Savings Tree and Amazing Bargains. If you check the computers sections at those sites, you will find all kinds of coupons that will get you discounts, including $10 off purchases at buy.com, beyond.com and chumbo.com (in some cases with minimum purchases), all of which sell MicroProse Diplomacy. There are plenty of other computer-related and unrelated stores as well... I only mentioned those three because they sell MicroProse Diplomacy.

A second tip is to check out Ebates. Many online stores have affiliate programs that give the owner of a web site a commision on any purchases made via a click-through from their web site. Ebates does that, they collect the commisions for your purchases, and refund the commissions back to you by check on a quarterly basis. They don't keep a cut of the commissions... instead they their money by selling advertising since they have so many people using this service. Although they don't mention it, they are also making a good chunk of money by getting interest on all the commissions they collect since they only send out checks quarterly.)

Membership for Ebates is free. You basically get 2% - 25% back on whatever you buy (with percentages varying from store to store based on the deal their affiliate program offers). All you need to do is go to the store via a click-through from the Ebates website instead of from the online store directly and use the ebates.com email address you get when you join, and you'll get whatever percent refunded to you later on. If you are buying from the same store you would be buying from anyway, you can't help but come out ahead. If you do sign up for Ebates, feel free to say you were referred by szykman@ebates.com (me), or feel free not to mention me and join anyway if my bringing it up gives you the yucky feeling of having been spammed by this article.

For example, with ebates, you get 5% back on purchases at outpost.com, beyond.com, chumbo.com, and hardwarestreet.com, all of which sell MicroProse Diplomacy.

And, of course, you can combine the online coupons and Ebates rebates to find the best prices. Here are some prices I came up with. You will have to check on shipping to find out which is the best deal overall. Again I list several vendors because prices and stock may change, shipping rates vary, and also because depending on when you read this, the discount coupons may have expired though all are current as of this writing. And remember that to get the percentage rebates, you have to buy via a click-through on the Ebates web site and use an ebates.com email address.

Despite the fact that Outpost.com has free shipping, you will probably get the best deal from Beyond.com, Buy.com or Chumbo.com using the $10 off coupons, with a 5% discount after that if you use Beyond.com or Chumbo.com. Check on totals after shipping to get your best price. A little hint: if you need to enter a coupon code to get a discount, you can do that when shopping via Ebates click-through. However, if you need to go to a specific link to get a discount coupon added to your shopping cart, you can't do that via ebates click-through because you need to click a specific link from the Savings Tree web site. The trick is to click the link from Savings Tree, which adds the coupon to your shopping cart do all your shopping but don't check out. Once you are done shopping, in the same browsing session go to Ebates, go to the store you were shopping at, from there go to your shopping cart, and your items and coupon should still be in your shopping cart. Then you check out via Ebates and I think it will correctly apply that purchase to your Ebates account.

As a side note, I don't know of any stores that ship MicroProse Diplomacy outside of the U.S.

Well, I hope that helps. Happy shopping!

Simon Szykman

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.