Colonial Diplomacy Part 7 – The Turks

by Shaun Derrick

In the standard game Turkey can be quite boring to play, having to watch and wait, and wait, and wait, until finally you get your big break or you are still waiting when someone wins! Well Turkey in Colonial Diplomacy isn’t a lot different, it certainly has more options, but is still out on a limb often having to wait until mid-game to get the big break. Unlike the standard game, Turkey can also grow fairly quickly if conditions are right. Contact with anyone other than the British or Russia in the early part of the game seems unlikely, but there are diplomatic efforts and mediating roles that can be used successfully for a power with so little else to do. What should you be saying to the other powers

British: The British are probably your worst enemy, they have a fleet in Aden that will stop your expansion eastwards by sea, and there is very little you can do about it. Honestly though, why should the British let you out into ‘his’ sphere of influence? There really is no argument that will stand up except when the British themselves are being attacked elsewhere, perhaps by the Dutch and he wants to ‘borrow’ a fleet. Once you are out you can do a lot of damage, but then again if the British have had to let you out there is a good chance that any capture of British centres will mean helping his enemy the other side of the board.

As for an alliance, this can only be possible if you attack Russia, the British will only need a minimal garrison in the Red Sea/Sudan & Egypt while you head north and build armies along the way. Your fleets will become fairly useless in this instance. In order to build quickly you will need to grab some neutrals, Shi, Tab, Rum if possible, and Per if the British are sincere. An attack on Russia is not that easy, as he has enough units to keep you locked in for a while – the British must help you out with at least one army heading north.

Once you have established yourself in Russia you will be facing China, a daunting prospect as it seems so far. In fact for Turkey to achieve 24 supply centres he has to get as far as he has to reach the Eastern seaboard. It is unlikely that Turkey can win without stabbing the British. If the alliance is strong enough it is possible, with a lot of trust for Turkey to win.

China: You will have quite a complex relationship with China, he can help you by pressurising Russia and to a smaller extent Britain, but his help and subsequent growth could well prove your hindrance later in the game. An expanding China will block your land route to the eastern half of the board. Having said that, at the start of the game pressure on Russia is desirable, you want to cause as much disruption as possible in your diplomacy for the eastern powers, you have no physical control in the east so try and get everyone fighting, particularly China and Russia. If you have been successful and broken out in force into the Indian Ocean, China could prove a useful land ally – you will counter the threat of the Dutch while he counters the threat of the Japanese, French or Russians, whoever needs to be countered!

Mid-game alliance potential is good, but keeping him happy while you try and take your final centres in the East Indies may not be so easy, he is likely to have units around Tashkent which can be a thorn in your side if you have not protected your northern flank.

Dutch: On the opposite side of the board and potentially your saviour in attacking the British, the Dutch can be the perfect early game ally. Both of you start with only three centres but can quickly force the British into a defensive mode, encourage him all the way, but make sure the Japanese are ready to strike once the British are dead. The reason for this is that you may have got passed the British, but now you will be faced with a more menacing Dutch flotilla barring your way to the riches of the east. A long term alliance is difficult to maintain for this very reason, so you must hope for a threatening Japan, French or Chinese player

French: You will have very little to do with the French early on except to hopefully keep each other informed with mutually beneficial information. If the French do well he could very well be an excellent ally working together against the British and possibly the Dutch, even China in mid-game. The Turkish victory centres need in indude French targets, but will often overlap in the eastern Indian region as well as the East Indies. Keeping in touch develops the alliance for later in the game when you can actually work together.

Japan: The most far flung power of all. You are all of ten moves away from the Japanese homeland at the start of the game, so contact will be slow, but if you both do well at the expense of Russia you will meet on the northern edge of the board, around Omsk I suspect. Japan is useftul in keeping Russia and China tied to the east and will almost inevitably be moving south with fleets to annoy the Dutch. Both of you are working from opposite ends of the board and so you want each other to do well. The Japanese victory centres are not really the ones you want, though the East Indies may be contentious. You will both have done very well to meet, but when you do one of you is near to winning I suspect – to make sure it is you, it is vital to try and keep Japan out of the Indian Ocean; once there he is a very likely winner.

Russia: Most games have seen Russia and Turkey maintain a friendship because the British attack Turkey and the Russians are too concerned with the east to worry about the west. The Russian fleet in Ode is a nuisance to be overcome, but if you are going to ally, make sure that it takes Rum and then goes back into Ode for the rest of the game. The alliance with Russia will work well, and even better if a Russian army can be spared to help you get through the Per/Kar bottleneck. So long as Turkey builds fleets and heads into the Indian Ocean there is no reason why the alliance cannot last a very long time, it is a natural north/south divide.

An aggressive Russia can be a handful, you need to put pressure on Japan and China to help you out, but if Russia is in concert with the British you are looking for an early exit – as happened in Belize