A podcast about playing the game Diplomacy and its variants. Kaner and Amby discuss the latest developments and game news in virtual face to face and online eg WebDiplomacy, vDiplomacy, PlayDiplomacy, backstabbr and more.
Interview with John Dansie
The guys interview Australian Defense Force chaplain John Dansie on using Diplomacy in professional military education of officers. Plus they talk about upcoming face to face games, their online games and Kaner makes a helluva mess.
The guys restart talking about other podcasts and Amby gives a big thumbs up to Brother Bored's Diplomacy Dojo (0 mins 10 secs)
They talk about their drinks (1 min 45 secs)
Amby talks about Bin Chicken Paradise. More here. (2 mins 45 secs)
Interview with John Dansie
Amby starts setting the scene for our interview with Australian Defense Force chaplain John Dansie (5 mins 30 secs)
The guys welcome John to the show (6 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks John how got introduced to the game (7 mins)
He asks about how John brought Diplomacy into the professional military education of Australian officers and want he wanted to get out of it. You can read his article on The Cove (8 mins 30 secs)
Kaner asks about the feedback from players after the game (11 mins 45 secs)
Amby asks about deception and lack of trust and how officers would apply that experience in a real world scenario (13 mins 30 secs)
He goes onto ask about players who didn't do well and how they related to it (16 mins 40 secs)
Kaner discusses the soft skills Diplomacy teaches when it comes to leadership (18 mins 45 secs)
They discuss playing without deception (22 mins 45 secs)
Amby asks about the format of the games. John talks about the creative strategies used by players (24 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks what feedback John has received from the higher ups (26 mins 45 secs)
They discuss the use of wargaming in the military (28 mins)
Amby asks what feedback John got on the paper published in The Cove (29 mins 15 secs)
They discuss what John hopes to get out of the experience (31 mins)
They go onto ask what John would like to see in two years time (32 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks about whether any players after the game maintained an interest in Diplomacy (34 mins 20 secs)
Kaner discusses about his father playing Diplomacy in the Australian Navy (39 mins)
They wrap up the interview (41 mins 30 secs)
Post interview the guys give their thoughts. Amby would like to know if other militaries use the game in a similar way (43 mins 30 secs)
The guys talk about the use of Diplomacy as a teaching tool in schools and universities (47 mins 45 secs)
Kaner and Amby have moved to Blute's Bar. They talk about their new drinks (49 mins 40 secs)
The guys talk about the first post-Covid face to face tournament - PoppyCon in Melbourne at the end of March - and whether they'll attend. They discuss the positives and negatives (52 mins 10 secs)
Amby says they have five players who can make a 7 March face to face game in Brisbane. So they just need to get another two folk for a game (58 mins 15 secs)
Kaner flags how the virtual Diplomacy League has created a map of where players are so you can organise face to face games once Covid calms down a bit. Sign up on their Google form (1 hr 1 mins 40 secs)
Kaner and Amby are hosting their own virtual game for Patreon supporters of the show. If you're interested why not sign up as a Patreon friend of the show (1 hr 3 mins 20 secs)
Around the grounds
Amby starts with the Winning is for Losers game which is now over. It ended in a draw (Amby as England on 2 SCs) with gopher pulling a strong Austrian position of 14 SC's (1 hr 4 mins 20 secs)
His declaration of war game is now over in a draw, with Amby being the last knocked out (1 hr 9 mins)
He's just alive in an Imperial II game (1 hr 11 mins 50 secs)
They move onto their webDip World Cup games. Amby's game has just finished in a 4 way draw. Amby was England and ended on 9 SCs (1 hr 13 mins)
Amby discusses the liberating feeling of having 100% control of the Baltic/Gulf of Bothnia (1 hr 15 mins)
Kaner talks abut his games, but being gunboat he doesn't want to provide game
The Juggernaut Victorious!
The guys record a back-to-back rather drunk episode. They talk about their (at the time) current games and prove the slow but effective Juggernaut alliance, before starting on an Anschluss alliance game.
Intro & Diplomacy chat
The guys restart on their 3rd drink at Brisbane Brewing Co and talk about their planned Diplomacy Wives Club interview they planned that never happened (0 mins 10 secs)
Amby presents Kaner with his belated Christmas present (5 mins 30 secs)
Around the grounds
They provide (by now) a belated Around the grounds update, starting with their anonymous Europa Renovatio team game where Kaner is effectively playing gunboat despite the game being full press. Amby gives his take on how he's been going. They discuss a gentlemanly stab. (7 mins 40 secs)
Kaner briefly touches on being in gunboat games before Amby discusses some of his games (14 mins 20 secs)
Amby discusses the Winning is for Losers game (16 mins) [This game has actually since ended in a draw]
The guys chat about different pronunciations in Australia. Below is the video posted by gopher on the stupidity of the discussion (and a good synopsis of two drunk Aussies talking Diplomacy - while bitching about pronunciations) (18 mins 20 secs)
After more beers, Amby talks about buying into a game (Enjoy Division) where a player CD'ed. He was eliminated and then the players drew. Amby talks about Dr Recommended's great game as Portugal (22 mins 30 secs)
Finishing off the Juggernaut
The guys return to their game against the bots in their final installment of testing the Juggernaut (32 mins)
They update the situation on the board after fall 1909 (34 mins)
The guys start planning their moves for spring 1910 (39 mins 30 secs)
They then finalise, do retreats and dissect the moves (46 mins 30 secs)
Next up, Fall 1910. The guys do their planning (49 mins 30 secs)
Time for adjudicating moves for Fall 1910 (54 mins)
The guys plan builds (55 mins 30 secs)
Then its onto disbands and Spring 1911 (57 mins 20 secs)
The guys finalise and discuss what happened with the Spring 1911 moves (1 hr 2 mins)
The guys then plan their fall 1911 moves (1 hr 2 mins 40 secs)
We finalise orders and review what happened including Kaner's f**k up with Gulf of Lyon, before moving onto builds (1 hr 6 mins 20 secs)
Onto spring 1912 with Kaner taking special care to not screw up again (1 hr 8 mins)
The guys then review what happened with orders and retreats (1 hr 10 mins)
They then plan fall 1912 with the start of some breakthrough moves (1 hr 11 mins)
They review the orders after adjudication (1 hr 16 mins)
And its onto spring 1913 and plan how to make the Jug unstoppable with some tricky forward retreat plans from Kaner (1 hr 20 mins)
They finalise and dissect the board after getting some more beers and discuss Amby's f**k up (1 hr 25 mins)
Onto fall 1913 now with plans as they start heading toward the end game (1 hr 26 mins)
The turn adjudicates and the guys explain what happened (1 hr 30 mins 45 secs)
They decide to wrap up the game, especially after Kaner's treacherous build (1 hr 33 mins 50 secs)
They acknowledge once more that while the Juggernaut is successful its a real slog. You can view the game at webDip (1 hr 35 mins)
Kaner wants to play another game: the Anschluss
They discuss the other bot games they paused and Kaner gives the go ahead for an unbreakable alliance between Austria and Germany. They plan their moves for spring 1901 (1 hr 37 mins)
The game adjudicates and they discuss the moves (1 hr 40 mins)
They begin planning for Fall 1901 (1 hr 41 mins 30 secs)
They ready orders up (1 hr 43 mins 10 secs)
At this point the SD card in the recorder fills up and stops recording. Amby apologies post-show about what happened and gives a tease about next week
Interview with Edi Birsan
We catchup with legend of the game, Edi Birsan, around so, so much about Diplomacy. Your head will spin! Plus the guys discuss their virtual WDC experience and webDip 2020 World Cup.
The guys introduce today's venue and location before discussing their drinks (0 mins 10 secs)
Interview with Edi Birsan
They start introducing the interview with Edi Birsan (3 mins 40 secs)
Amby asks Edi how he got started in the game in the 1960's (4 mins 40 secs)
Amby reflects on Edi's response about psychologists using the game to build resilience. Edi gives some further detail and touches on Kissinger playing Diplomacy and integration of schools in South Africa using Diplomacy (12 mins)
Edi discusses the importance of younger people being open to the game during formative learning and intervening with a player about their behavior (16 mins)
He discusses his mantra about Diplomacy (18 mins 15 secs)
He talks about using the game as a tool for learning about trust (20 mins 30 secs)
Note: around this point someone in Amby's neighborhood starts noisy gardening - takes about 20 mins for Amby to Google how to fix/mute it
Amby asks about how Edi was able to find players for his first game and playing postal (23 mins)
Edi discusses how Diplomacy helped him talk and negotiate in some of his first jobs (28 mins)
Amby asks where the game sits in popularity/awareness now, compared to previous decades. Edi discusses how word about the game got out early on and goes onto discuss tournaments (28 mins 45 secs)
He asks about how Diplomacy game style has changed over time (34 mins 30 secs)
They talk about virtual games, introducing video but what you'd miss out (40 mins 40 secs)
Kaner asks about Edi's advice for playing well. Edi discusses understanding player's motivations (44 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks Edi about the first time he came up with Lepanto opening (48 mins 20 secs)
Amby asks how the Lepanto opening got its name. You can read Edi's article on the Lepanto here (55 mins 45 secs)
Edi talks about his interactions with Allan Calhamer (57 mins 45 secs)
He discusses how Calhamer didn't design for stalemate lines, draws, game culture and balance of power (1 hr 2 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks Edi about his personal experience with politics and how Diplomacy helped him (1 hr 8 mins 15 secs)
He reflects on the current situation in American politics and brings it around to the game (1 hr 14 mins)
They start wrapping the interview up, with Edi reflecting on his Diplomacy experience in Australia and when the pandemic is over, where are you going to go in the world for the game (1 hr 23 mins)
The guys come back after the interview and reflect on it (1 hr 25 mins 20 secs)
They talk about the Lepanto and Amby's ill-fated opening of Germany attacking Russia in spring 1901 (1 hr 29 mins)
News and chat
The guys discuss the current Covid restrictions and short lockdown in Brisbane (1 hr 38 mins 45 secs)
Their efforts to get the numbers for a face to face game continue to be an issue with people still a little freaky about Covid locally (1 hr 41 mins)
They talk about state border restrictions and Amby discusses the Australian Lamb Board's annual Australia Day video - which beautifully explains the current situation in Australia, fast forwarded to 2031 (1 hr 42 mins 15 secs)
Kaner's Virtual World Diplomacy Classic experience
We move onto the recent Virtual WDC and discuss how the guys went (1 hr 44 mins 15 secs)
Kaner blames Amby on missing a game (1 hr 45 mins)
Amby discusses his games, particularly his second game (1 hr 47 mins 30 secs)
Kaner talks about his experience with technology and interface for his first virtual game (1 hr 54 mins 45 secs)
Amby discusses his technical troubles and how to better use airpods when communicating on Discord (1 hr 58 mins 15 secs)
Kaner talks a little more about his games (2 hrs 0 mins 30 secs)
They talk about match ending times and how
Happy New Year and holidays
Due to holidays our next normal episode will be out in two more weeks.
The Lying Interview
What makes a good Diplomacy lie and can you pick one when you hear it? The guys catchup with academics Jordan Boyd-Graber and Denis Peskov about their paper on lying and Diplomacy. Plus Sloth, a player in the study, also joins us. And don't forget Christmas 2020 and much more.
The guys have got the recorder working again, although they're trying something different so it doesn't cut out again. They discuss their drinks and venue (0 mins 10 secs)
They throw around a couple of jokes (2 mins 20 secs)
The guys set the scene for the interview today with Jordan Boyd-Graber, Denis Peskov and Sloth about their paper, It Takes Two to Lie: One to Lie and One to Listen. The paper discusses machine learning and the ability to detect lies through Diplomacy (3 mins 10 secs)
Interview with with Jordan Boyd-Graber, Denis Peskov and Sloth
NOTE: Amby tried recording this interview in stereo for something different. Not sure it really works. Gives us your feedback (either on this page's comments area or by contacting us)
Kaner and Amby welcome Jordan Boyd-Graber, Denis Peskov and Sloth to the show before Amby asks Jordan to give the background to the paper and why it concentrated on Diplomacy as a means of concerted lying (4 mins 40 secs)
Denis discusses the process around using identifying messages and whether the sender lied or whether the receiver thought it was a lie. He also touches on his discovery and now love of the game (8 mins)
Amby tries bringing Sloth's perspectives into the game as a player in the study and his thoughts on lie detection (11 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks Denis about player prediction of lies vs the artificial intelligence's ability. Jordan gives his perspective (14 mins 15 secs)
Amby goes onto ask about factors to indicate more likelihood to lie or tell the truth (17 mins 15 secs)
They explore whether there were points of time in the game when lying was more likely to occur (27 mins 30 secs)
Amby reflects on the difference in physical presence to the game in face-to-face vs online, he asks about people blaming real life as a crutch for a lie. They also discuss people's perceptions of what is a lie. Sloth points out how people don't mind lying, they just don't want to get caught lying (30 mins 30 secs)
Kaner asks about deceitful language online and its impact on machine language into the future (34 mins 20 secs)
Kaner goes onto ask about whether anyone has approached some of the big Diplomacy websites about their datasets (40 mins 20 secs)
Amby gives his thoughts about the methodology using both a combination of the words people use (eg a lie) and the ability to stab (42 mins 40 secs)
Jordan needs to leave the interview. Amby asks if there were any zones people were more likely to lie about. Denis asks his own questions to Kaner and Amby on who gets stabbed the most, and also which country was more likely to stab (45 mins 50 secs)
Denis discusses some of the lies sent through from Kaner and Amby in their recent games to see if the IA could predict if the lies were lies. You can view the questions and predictions here (49 mins 40 secs)
Sloth asks about elements of truth. Denis discusses the data rather than the emotional aspects (55 mins 30 secs)
Amby asks about future research plans in this space (57 mins 20 secs)
Amby starts wrapping up the interview. Just a reminder, you can read the paper if you want to learn more (58 mins 50 secs)
The guys return back and discuss what they got out of the interview (59 mins 40 secs)
Kaner flags how good it would be if webDip and other sites had an option to be part of the lying research so players keep records on whether they lie/predict a lie. Amby discusses the possibility of league tables for Best Diplomacy Liar or Best Predictor of Lies (1 hr 7 mins)
Amby asks about how could you apply the same Lying methodology beyond text based chat, extending to voice communication games
The guys discuss their current and upcoming games, try finishing off their unbreakable Juggernaut alliance before the recorder packs it in.
The guys discuss their drinks, venue and proximity to the train line (0 mins 10 secs)
They flag there's no interview this episode. They talk about producing the show (4 mins 45 secs)
Kaner starts a discussion on having a face to face game, but it looks like the numbers aren't going to be there for a full board (6 mins 45 secs)
Around the grounds
Amby starts discussing a Europa Renovatio game he bought into and how he's not doing well. He goes onto discuss his Imperial Diplomacy game where he's also doing pretty ordinary (9 mins 15 secs)
He touches on his Declaration of War game (13 mins)
They move to another bar due to the train noise and discuss their new drinks and venue (19 mins 20 secs)
Amby finishes up his last game: Winning is for Losers and describes how there's many games within the game. He goes onto discuss the nature of being able to win the thread game, allowing players to force one order of a player. Amby gives credit to gopher's gameplay (21 mins 45 secs)
The guys move onto their Europa Renovatio team game that is starting, discuss the way the game works and first thoughts on gameplay (32 mins 15 secs)
Kaner goes onto discuss one of his Europa games that he's dying in (40 mins 30 secs)
They go onto discuss their local Brisbane based team being part of the webDip World Cup, participating as the Democracy Sausages. They go onto discuss the other players before discussing the tyranny of the Australia timezone (44 mins 40 secs)
Amby goes on a rant about the Chinese punitive nit-picking against Australia in the latest round of trade wars (53 mins 30 secs)
Return to the Juggernaut unbreakable alliance
The guys bring up their Russia-Turkey game where they're testing alliances to see how well they work. They reset the scene where they were last up to in Fall 1907 (55 mins 40 secs)
They do builds and enter spring 1908 before planning their moves and adjudicating (59 mins)
Next up is their planning for fall 1908, their moves, adjudicating and builds (1 hr 10 mins)
Its spring 1909. The guys talk moves and then adjudicate (1 hr 20 mins 40 secs)
Onto fall 1909. Moves are planned before... (1 hr 30 mins)
Something goes terribly wrong with the recorder and the guys have no idea how much was recorder (and lost.) As it turned out it was only about 5-10 minutes (1 hr 34 mins)
They quickly wrap up the show (1 hr 34 mins 30 secs)
If you want to help the guys with a donation to help get a new recorder, please seriously consider becoming a Patreon of the show.
Venue: Oche and Mr Chester Wine Bar, Brisbane
Drinks of choice:
Kaner: Oche pale ale from Brisbane and Mornington draught from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria
Amby: Balter XPA from the Gold Coast and Rossovero Primitivo from Salento in Italy
Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. And don't forget if you want to help improve the audio equipment... or get the guys more drunk, you can also donate at Patreon, plus you get extra podcast episodes!
Lastly, don't forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone.
Thanks as always to Dr Dan aka "The General" for his rockin' intro tune.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thank you for creating a podcast for the game Diplomacy! Good interviews, information just wish the sound quality was a bit better.
Best Diplomacy Podcast, Hands Down
Listen in while Amby and Kaner get progressively more inebriated and talk diplomacy. Their games are entertaining, the interviews are interesting, and the drink discussion is always on point.
My only qualm is the background noise can make voices difficult to distinguish. The efforts to keep the ambient volume low are appreciated.
Eagerly anticipating the next installment, keep up the good work! Regarding the episode notes - cjuric is spelled without a "k". Shout out is wonderful nonetheless.
Best of luck with the backstabbing!
Fills the Web & Variant-oriented Diplomacy Niche
The Diplomacy hobby has a few different fan-supported publications that make the rounds: "The Diplomatic Pouch" and "Diplomacy World" are two examples in the online newsletter space, and Chris Martin's Youtube channel covers a good chunk of the face-to-face happenings in the hobby.
What's not quite as well-covered, and what Kaner & Amby provide here, is a window into Diplomacy as it is most frequently played, via web-based interfaces. Though their expertise is primarily from webDiplomacy and vDiplomacy, they've been branching out to other sites as well like PlayDiplomacy.
Where I find the most benefit from "Diplomacy Games" is the focus on variants. Many Diplomacy players (like the aforementioned Chris Martin) are purists; they only really like the original game, and they don't spend a lot of time with variants.
However, there are quite a few of us that see Diplomacy as a sort of family of rules (or platform) with which you can play multiple scenarios. For us, we're always looking for new variants with interesting rules and subject matters. Kaner & Amby cover those in decent detail, and it's fun to hear the gears turning as they discuss a new and interesting map or ruleset.
I have a couple criticisms of the cast, but nothing serious.
1) It's can be a little disorganized.
- Though Amby & Kaner always have a rough outline of what they want to discuss in an episode, the coverage can be a bit more stream-of-consciousness than I care for.
- However, the Full Description of each episode gives useful timestamps on a topic-by-topic breakdown, so it's easy to skip long sections for topics less to my interest.
2) The background noise can be distracting.
- They record their shows inside their favorite Australian bars, so you'll get periodic crowd noise and road noise.
- It definitely gives the cast a bit of charm, so it's not a huge negative.