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In Defense of Albania

by J.C. Hodgins

from Diplomacy World #41


In all the copious Diplomacy literature, pertaining to strategy, tactics, alliances, personalities, stabs, revenge, psychology, openings, negotiations, and color of units, one country has been notoriously left out. Albania. It is the intent of this article to rectify this sorry situation.

What is it about Albania that players don't like? It is, after all, quite a special place in the Diplomacy world. It is the smallest of the three non-Power, non-supply center provinces on the Diplomacy board. This means, however, that players must continually move aside fleets and armies which reside in Albania so they can read the name of the province. This in turn leads an observant player to spread the word "He’s going after Albania!", and another fine strategy inevitably goes down the drain.

Albania does not have a dot, which means that the economy can 't produce enough goods to support an army or fleet. The Albanians have a complex about this and very often get mad at Switzerland because at least it is "impassable."  Somebody should tell the Albanians that their economy, based largely on the production of horseshoes, is not a viable one in an age of mechanized transportation.

Situated on the Adriatic between beautiful Serbia, rugged Greece, and downtown Trieste, Albania also has access to the Ionian Sea. The people are friendly, but do get tired sometimes of being· invaded by the red guys, the green guys, and the yellow guys. The white guys aren't much bother, but sometimes they sleep over too.

Albania is a favorite resort spot for Austrian fleets. The Austrians are always heading there on their way south in Spring 1901. They never stop for long, however, deciding to travel to Greece most times. Must be the food or something. The Turks, who generally have stronger stomachs than the rest of Europe, love to go there for "a good game of horseshoes."

Albania is usually a strategic goal of England. The Wicked Witch of the North quite often directs much diplomatic pressure on Germany to "stay the heck out of Albania!” This causes much consternation in Berlin as the Kaiser never has any desire to enter Albania anyway. But no one likes to be pushed around, and so war usually breaks out. Statistically, Albania is the cause of 87% of all Anglo-German fights in Diplomacy.

Most of the other powers are content to leave Albania alone initially, and Italy has enough problems getting Army Venice to hold.

"All roads lead to Rome" is actually a misquote of the more accurate "All roads lead to Albania," which is itself only true because so many people over the years have LEFT Albania that it just SEEMS that all roads lead INTO it.

Albania is also near the beginning of any list of provinces in alpha­betical order.

It has a big crease running through it when you open the board.

Hopefully, after reading the above information, Diplomacy players will have a better appreciation of this tiny but great province. Just remember, without Albania in Diplomacy, Trieste would touch Greece. So there!