WorldDipCon V

(1st-3rd December 1995)

by Shaun Derrick

Much as I was looking forward to this convention, I was also in the grip of a dilemma, my grandmother was seriously ill and likely to pass away at any time, but I decided to go anyway and hope for the best. Unfortunately on returning to the hotel on the Friday – the day I arrived – I rang Jan who was very upset saying that my grandmother was not likely to last the right. I knew that there wasn’t much I could do, but I decided to rearrange my flight for the next day to fly back home. On arrival back home I was informed that she had passed away that morning. I will always remember her as spirited woman who lived to 90 years of age. I will also, unfortunately remember that it was myself and Jan who took her into the hospital from where she never returned, but she was having awful difficulty swallowing and it was urgent, though a small element of guilt does haunt me. 

Anyway, I am sure that there will be more comprehensive reviews in SNOT as James was one of four Brits who travelled to Paris, the fifth was Pete Berlin who is already living there. The others were Jeremy Tullet and Steve Cox. My one day of action was confirmed to a quick game of Gunboat and the ‘Nations Cup’, a sort of team tournament for national teams of three. Myself, James and Steve comprised the British team and drew Italy, Russia and Turkey respectively. I was on a very strong board with Bjom von Knornng (E), Matthias Jerrewing (F), Xavier Blanchot (G), Bruno Berken (R), Thomas Sebeyran (A) and Borger Borgersen (T). Without boring you with the details Matthias forced his way into a winning position by taking advantage of the Anglo-German battle, England went out fairly quickly followed by Germany who was attacked by both France and Russia, in the meantime I had established an early alliance with Austria, but seeing my possibilities of quick builds diminishing, I had to stab Austria, this let Turkey off the hook who allied with me to eliminate Austria and hold up the French who were in the Med. France finished on 17 with Turkey on 9 and me(I) on 7, Russia also had 1 left. James was left on 1 centre at the end in his game and Steve got 7 in his. Needless to say we didn’t win the Nations Cup, one of the Swedish teams did. 

The convention was being held in the same building that was used for EuroDipCon I, a palatial place with plenty of room to manoeuvre. The organization was not too good, though infinitely better than the pre-convention advertising (virtually non existent). There was no Convention booklet and most players were unaware of the scoring system. Start times were delayed by lack of players. WDCV was certainly not as good as EDCI which had nearly 200 players – here I think they were struggling to get 60 or so – maybe it got better when I left’. The strikes in Paris didn’t help I’m sure.

The convention was being videoed and I was the British spokesman who gave an interview on the Friday – a novel idea for the record. 

I have no idea what the results of the convention were, not do I know if there was a meeting to discuss the future of WorldDipCon, I think it was scheduled for Saturday night with the USA putting in a bid for WDCVI in 1996. The venue is almost certainly going to be Columbus, Ohio a week after EuroDipCon IV in Oslo. This situation is ludicrous, the two biggest events of the Diplomacy year within a week of each other!!! There was going to be a few harsh words said about this at the meeting, I believe, and gives ammunition to those who believe that there should be a forum of people who have the power to prevent this happening again. 

Friday night was spent searching for a meal and drinks with Pete, James, Jeremy and Steve, but with a raging sore throat and a bereavement to cope with this is not one of the conventions I will remember with enthusiasm.

Reprinted from Spring Offensive 40