FUGUE

By

“PARIAH”

From Diplomacy World #18

(transcribed by Marvelous Melinda Holley)

 

 

I was easily the world’s worst Diplomacy player.  My strategic concepts are untenable, my diplomatic maneuvering is a laugh, and my tactical play is completely underwhelming.  I’ve never finished above five place (England and France dropped out early in that one) and I’ve never seen the Spring of 1905.  My most infamous loss occurred when playing Austria (I somehow managed to find six other people who had never heard of me).  Through my perfidious, but inane, diplomatic overtures, I found myself attacked by four neighbors and threatened by two others in the Spring of ’02.  I was homeless by autumn.  (A 60, 000 word expose of my nauseating tactics is soon to be published.)

Well, fleets and armies had always been a great bother to me (all those silly rules about coastlines and canals and air movement were certainly unclear0, but I quickly earned to play without them.  Oddly enough, my enemies were now almost non-existent, and I suspected some diabolical treachery.  Nonetheless, I quickly submitted my Spring 1903 orders:

 

TOTAL COLLAPSE IS IMMINENT.  THE PEOPLE FACE THEIR DARKEST HOUR AS TINY FINLAND STRAINS TO STEMP THE INVADING RED ARMY (oops, wrong war), AS AUSTRIA-HUNGARY STRAINS TO STEM THE INVADING WHITE, EYLLOW AND GREEN (AND POSSIBLY BLACK) ARMIES.  THE SUICIDE OF FRANZ JOSEF HAS TOUCHED OFF RIOTING IN OUR GLORIOUS CAPITRAL, AND THE STREETS ARE RUNNIGN WITH BLOOD.  THE LAST OF THE ROYAL FAMILY HAVE BEEN SAFELY WITHDRAWN TO A SMALL, UNKNOWN ISLAND IN THE TYRRHENIAN SEA.  WE STAND ALONE AMOUNG THE FREE POWERS, PROUD, STRONG AND BLOODY.  IN THEIR HOUR OF NEED, OUR COUNTRYMENT HAVE BEEN ABANDONED AND FORSAKEN BY THEIR WEAK-WILLED NEIGHBORS, WHO HAVE FAILED HER IN EVERY WAY.  THE ROYAL FAMILY LEAVSE YOU WITH THESE WORDS:

“We have asked for guns, and we have gotten sympathy,

We have asked for bullets, and we have got apathy.

We have asked for men, and we have got stabbed.”

 

Orders, Austria-Hungary, Spring 1903: 

Detachment in Elba supports Detachment in Elba

 

I must modestly admit that my spring move was an unqualified success.  All my objectives were achieved and not one person had even attempted a stab (a new personal record).  Spurred on by this heady victory, I began a subversive campaign aimed at undermining any relations between the other powers.  (By the way, I had finally given up issuing movement and combat orders – much too easy to misconstrue, as well as often being used against me.)  Using a recent reception for the royal family of Hapsburgs, currently summering in Elba, I launched my new plan using overheard remarks and comments:

 

“My dear, how stunning!  Your sister’s clothes are so becoming!”

“You see, if he had just held back the 4th Brigade for only two hours, the enemy right would never have…”

Italy?  Those turkeys are always hungary.”

“The first time our eyes met across a crowded room, my heart…”

“Did you hear how Franz really did it?  Well, he took this long, sharpened stake…”

“Yes, we pretty well have Germany sucked in right now.  He completely trusts…”

“The army in Bohemia is no threat.  It’s the night life in Bohemia that is the real problem.”

“My pulse quickened, I became speechless, as your radiant…”

“Say, isn’t that the French ambassador?  Whatever could he be talking about to the Russian envoy?”

“Huh?”

“No, no.  You still don’t understand.  Just two hours, and then the enemy right…”

Delenda est Constantinople.”

“Your eyes so bright, your lips so full, are matched only by…”

Puhutekko suomea?”

“Oops, sorry about that.  Wasn’t’ a new shirt, I hope.”

“Your lips so full, you…what?  You’re kidding!  Well, excuse me, I must be off…let’s see, you said your cousin was the one with the sequins and long gloves, right?”

“Look, I’ll draw it on a napkin.  The 4th Brigade is the gravy stain.  Now, only two hours…”

 

Again I had astounding success.  The various leaders came groveling at my doorstep, pleading for me to release my source of information.  But I stood firm, a veritable rock of Gibraltar resisting those who were mere gains of sand washing at my shore.

And so it went, my position of power becoming greater with every turn, while my eemies slowly eroded and suffered; but not always in silence.  At long last the Great Day arrived: the final standings of our game.  I eagerly tore open the envelope from the gamesmaster.  But after quickly scanning the brief report, I fell back, aghast.  I was listed seventh!  (Not an unusual result for me, but this game had been different!)  Despite my vehement and frequent protests, the results were allowed to stand (something about control of supply centers – another silly rule that I could never fathom).  Knowing I had badly outplayed my opponents, I have decided to lodge my lawful complaints with the Institute for Diplomatic Studies, the board of Directors for DIPLOMACY WORLD, and a nefarious Sicilian firm which shall remain nameless. I am confident that the game results would be overturned, my protest upheld, and justice meted out to the guilty. Sic simper tyrranis.


 


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