Diplomacy Boardgame Trivia Revisited

By Simon Szykman

In the previous issue of the Zine I had an article on Diplomacy Boardgame Trivia. I have a few updates to the answers to the trivia questions I provided.

Question 4 asked when the first Avalon Hill bookcase edition with plastic pieces was sold. I said that I was not sure, but that it was before 1982... i.e. the use of plastic pieces preceded the release of the 1982 2nd edition rules. Since the first edition rulebook had a 1976 copyright date, I was not sure when between 1976 and 1982 the plastic pieces were first used. Since the time when I wrote that article, I discovered that the rulebook in the pre-second-edition set with plastic pieces has another date of 1981 indicated in the bottom corner of the back of the rulebook, so I think it is fair to assume that the edition with plastic pieces first came out in 1981, and that they added the date of printing on the back of the rulebook even though the copyright date on the front of the rulebook did not change.

Question 6 asked how many countries local editions of Diplomacy were sold. The question said that word local was meant to exclude countries where the Avalon Hill editions were imported and sold. I probably should have made that statement more general and said that local excluded any imported editions, not just Avalon Hill editions. Because I had not clearly stated this, one reader sent me an email to let me know that I had left Belgium off of the list. It is true that Diplomacy was sold in Belgium, but the edition sold there was the Jumbo edition imported from the Netherlands, so I would not consider that to be a local edition.

As an interesting side note: Belgium is a bilingual country, where the two national languages are French and Flemmish, a derivative of Dutch. All Jumbo editions had a bilingual French/Dutch rulebook, even those sold in Netherlands. It is therefore clear that Jumbo produced the game with the intention of selling it in Belgium. Had they not intended from the start to sell the game in both countries, Jumbo would have produced a local edition for sale in the Netherlands with Dutch-only rules, and produced a separate bilingual rulebook for export to Belgium.

Question 13 asked in which country an edition with a bilingual rulebook was sold. The answer given was Canada, where all Canadian editions had French/English rulebooks. I failed to include the second answer, which I just mentioned above: the Netherlands, where the Jumbo edition was produced with a Dutch/French bilingual rulebook.

Question 15 asked people to name as many commercial Diplomacy variants as they could. In the answer, I listed six variants: Ard-Ri, Classical Diplomacy, Colonial Diplomacy, Hundred, Kamakura, and Machiavelli. In response to that question, two emails I received identified two variants that I didn't know of at the time. And since that time, with some further digging I have uncovered two more in addition to those. I now know of the following 10 variants: Ard-Ri, Classical Diplomacy, Colonial Diplomacy, Conquest of North America, Dippi Totale, La Foi et Le Glaive (Faith and the Sword), Hundred, Kamakura, Machiavelli, and War of the Ring: The Game of Middle Earth.

Lastly, question 18 asked people to guess how many different local editions of Diplomacy have been published throughout the world, and said I'd give the answer in the next issue of the Zine. Only one person emailed me a guess for that question: Cies de Theije, who guessed 83. At the moment, I know of 43 different editions. I suspect there are some editions that I still don't know about, so I expect this number to increase.

I have been digging for information about various editions of Diplomacy and its variants for nearly a year now. I expect that by The S2000M or S2000R issue, I will have this compilation of information ready for public release, with descriptions for most of the different editions, and photos of many of them. In addition to compiling information about the boardgame and its variants, I have also been compiling information about commercial Diplomacy software and publications about the game of Diplomacy. Which leads me to add two more trivia questions to my earlier list:

  1. For which different software platforms have commercial software editions of the game Diplomacy been sold? (When I say "commercial" software, I am excluding all amateur (freeware/shareware) Diplomacy software (i.e. adjudicators/mappers/AIs/etc.)

  2. How many different editions of commercial Diplomacy software were sold worldwide? (If a particular edition was available for more than one platform, each one is counted as a different edition. If a particular edition was sold at different times and/or places in a different box, each counts as a different edition even if the game and software platform were the same.)

  3. How many different professional publications (books or booklets) about the game Diplomacy have been sold? (When I say "professional" publications, I am including only publications that were published by a company as opposed to Diplomacy zines which, while they can look quite professional, are published by individuals.) You can choose to name as many as you can, just guess at the total number without naming them, or both.

Answers to appear in the next issue!

Simon Szykman

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