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Diplomacy Convention (DIPCON) XXXVII Report

By Tim Haffey

From Diplomacy World #90



For those of you who do not know, although I don’t know what readers of Diplomacy World would not know, the DIPCON XXXVII was held on April 23-25 in Portland, Oregon at the Double Tree Hotel in Lloyd Center.  The Tournament was put on by the Piggy Back Society for Northwest Diplomacy. The Tournament was very well organized and managed.  My compliments to Matt Shields, Kevin Kacmarynski, and their Piggy Back Crew, they did a magnificent job.


I don’t fly if I can help it, so I took the train to Portland from Oakland, California.  We left an hour late and arrived two hours late.  But, Matt was there to pick me up and delivered me right to the lobby desk of the Double Tree Hotel.  They even had my reservation on file.  Will wonders never cease?


I arrived on Thursday, April 22 just to make sure I arrived in time.  Buz Eddy held a poker game that started around 8 o’clock in the evening so I joined in that and had a good time.  Lost eight bucks but I enjoyed myself anyway.  Andy Bartalone, Mike Noble and some others who came and went including several Canadians, played in the game.  All good Poker players.  We played Texas Hold ‘em and the game came to an end at around midnight as I remember.


The next day I was up bright but, not so early.  I got up about 9:00 AM.  Showered and shaved and everything and went down and had breakfast in the hotel restaurant.  Just had eggs, potatoes and toast with a glass of milk.  $10.00 with tip.  Well, everything was cooked just right.  That’s worth it right there.  


I had forgotten my tape recorder which I use to take notes since I can not see well enough to take written notes.  So, I had to buy a new one.  I got a cab that was sitting by the hotel and asked him if he knew where a Radio Shack was in the area.  He said he did and he took me there.  He was an extremely nice guy named Hans.  I told him my problem and he took me to the nearest Radio Shack, went into the store with me and explained what I needed to the clerk and they put batteries in it and a tape and got it all set for me to use.  I paid about $40.00 for it including the tape and batteries.  Then, Hans took me back to the hotel.  Talk about a great guy.  They should have such cab drivers in Oakland.  I gave him a $5.00 tip.


The Tournament started at 5:30 PM. I believe a total of 52 people actually showed up.  Tables and countries were assigned.  I was on table seven and played Austria.  Yeah, won’t you know?  Well, I talked to Italy, played by Andy (Buffalo) Bartalone, and convinced him that an Austrian/Italian alliance was necessary because it appeared that the Turk and the Russia were allied.  But, he stabbed me in Fall 01.  So, I spent the rest of the game helping Turkey take out Italy while Russia ate me up from the rear.  But, Italy and Austria both were eliminated on the same turn.  Andy admitted he made a mistake.  Justice served again.


Before we started the second round of games, Piggyback Society had a meeting to determine where the next DipCon would be held.  There were two proposals.  Someone from PrezCon, (I did not get his name) made a presentation to have DipCon XXXVIII at PrezCon in Virginia.  Larry Peery made a presentation to hold the DipCon on a Carnival Sea Cruise out of Galveston. Texas.  The Sea Cruise won.  Hey, I voted for Prezcon.


The second round I played England and thought I might have a good chance of getting somewhere.  However, I allied, tried to ally I should say, with Germany who promptly stabbed me.  What is this with everyone stabbing me straight away?  I spent the rest of the time trying to ally with France but he just kept ignoring anything I said and kept on attacking me, so I did my best to keep Germany from growing.  Eventually, Austria and Turkey gained a lead in the east and France, Germany and England forced a five way draw.  There were several four or five way draws because of the scoring system.  The system was supposed to encourage you to win, but, in fact, encouraged people to get the high center count up around 8 or 9 and then negotiate a draw.


In game three later on Saturday, I was Russia.  I attempted to ally with Turkey, (Missie Bird) but she stabbed.  And, then when I tried to ally with Italy (JT Fest) he stabbed me too.  Italy got the lead in units and immediately asked for a draw.  I refused to vote for the draw so he and Missie eliminated me.  And then they took their draw.


On Sunday, they had the top board.  The other players could play another game while the top board was playing, if they wanted a chance to improve their scores.  I did not play.  I wanted to observe the top game.  The top board had the following lineup. 


Austria - Edi Birsan

England - Doug Moore

France - Chris Martin

Germany - JT Fest

Italy - Adam Silverman

Russia - Nick Benedict

Turkey - Ken LeMere


Before the spring 01 moves were announced, I had a little interview with Larry Peery from San Diego.  


LP: I have known Edi for some 40 years.  I have played with Ken LeMere, he is good.  

TH:  Silverman is good too.

LP:  Yeah, they are all good.

TH:  Or, they wouldn’t be on the top board.

LP:  Well, sometimes you can sneak on there.

LP:  Let’s see, three locals, four outsiders, two Californians.  So, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk for anybody.  It depends on how seriously Edi plays.

TH:  I don’t know if Austria is a serious country or what…probably not.

LP:  I’ll go out on a limb and say I think Turkey is going to win.

TH:  Well, I’ll tell you what, that JT Fest guy is an intense player.

LP:  Oh yes, yes.

TH:  You know what he did in the game last night.

(Note:  JT Fest played Italy in a game where I was Russia and Peery was Austria and Fest ran both of us out of the game.  Well, he ran me out and reduced Peery’s Austria to one center)

LP: Yeah, yeah.  He wanted to be on this one.

TH:  Yeah, well he made it.  I don’t know about Germany, we will see what happens here. Thank you.


Well, in Spring 1901 it looks like England and France bounced over the English Channel and Turkey and Russia bounced over the Black Sea.  Galicia is open, neither Russia nor Austria moved there.  Austria’s moves are pretty normal, Italy’s moves pretty normal.  Nothing really outstanding.  France did support itself into Bur which is always an interesting move to see.  Russia does seem to be concentrating on he Southern front.  We will just have to wait and see what happens.


Well. I thought I had recorded the moves for Fall 01 and up to the Fall 0f 1903 but they were not on my recorder.  Interestingly enough it picks up with another review by Larry Peery and myself.  I believe this was after the Fall 1903 moves were completed.  This is that review.


TH:  Well, Larry Peery, what is going on here?

LP:  Well, I don’t know.

TR:  Obviously there is no alliance between Russia and Turkey.

LP:  Yeah, that kind of went up in smoke didn’t it?

TH: Yeah, well, they haven’t given Austria the boot yet but I expect they will. 

LP: Well, he still has one.  As long as he has one, he can be a pain to someone, and he will be.

TH: Oh yeah, yeah.

LP:  Russia is up to seven, he’s doing good.   

TH:  He’s got someone in Sev, unless he can kick him out of there.

LP:  Well, he has three armies and a fleet.

At this point JT Fest who was playing Germany walked up to the table and I asked him 

TH:  So, how is Germany doing over there?

JT: Well, you know, it’s not bad.  I’ve got to deal with France and …

TH: It looks like he is going to be a player.

TH to LP:  Well, it looks like he (Germany) is going to be a player.  France too, for that matter.  England…

LP:  Well, England has a problem now, he’s got a Fleet in the North and a Fleet in Belgium surrounded by all the Germans, probably not going to be long for the world.  

TH: Yeah, and I can tell you for one thing, Germany is not going to let him stay there.

LP: Yeah.

LP:  For the first two years they moved, you know, they came out.  Yeah, especially in the Balkans there.

LP:  I haven’t seen anything that I consider a really bad mistake.

TH: Nope.  Except, drawing Austria, that may have been a mistake. 

LP: Well, they don’t draw them, I don’t know how they…

TH:  Random, it’s random.  A random assignment.  But still, this thing of two or three ganging up on … 

LP:  Well, yeah, but they are fighting back.

TH: It does happen a lot with Austria though.  I have played Austria and got ganged up on by three, all three of them.

LP: Well, it may have happened to me too.  So…

TH: Yeah.

LP:  It’s an easy way to go.

TH: I would rather go out quick like that instead of just fooling around with one or two players, you know what I mean.

Unknown player: (Not really unknown, but I forgot who it was):  For my money, the most fun I ever had was fooling around with one or two units.  You can affect the draw and maybe get up to three.

TH: Yeah, you can irate somebody.  And, you can get a lot of offers for support here and there.


I had to leave at this time so I did not get the rest of the game but I got the results.


The winner of the TOP Board and DipCon XXXVII Champion – Ken LeMere.  Now, what was that prediction of Larry Peery’s at the very beginning of the game?


LP:  I’ll go out on a limb and say I think Turkey is going to win.

Yep, that is what he said before the first move was even made.  Very good predictions, Larry.


DipCon XXXVII Team Champions – Team “She Ain’t Gonna Understand This Scoring System  - Nathan Barnes - - JT Fest -  - Jake Mannix.  Teams?  There were teams, I didn’t even know that.


Best Stab – Missie Bird - Editor’s Note:  I can believe that.


Best Austria – Nick Benedict     

Best England – Adam Silverman

Best France – Jon Saul      

Best Germany – Riaz Virani  

Best Italy – Don Williams     

Best Russia – Doug Moore   

Best Turkey – Missie Bird