OK Gunga Din. Now What?

by “Hippie”

Unlike ordinary Diplomacy, the tactics of Colonial Diplomacy have other constraints apart from who is attacking what. It is also dependent on whether playing the short game (16 scs) the medium game (24 scs) or the full game (30 scs).

The Short Game (16 supply centres)

The Short Game (16 supply centres)

The short game has the opposite tactics to a normal game of diplomacy, even though the winning post of 16 scs and 18 scs are similar. The large board lends itself to very quick progress away from the home supply centres. In standard Diplomacy this would leave your units isolated and easy to defeat or disband. In Colonial diplomacy, it is possible to send them out to some distance and fill in the spaces behind afterwards. By the time a foreign power has got the forces together to challenge your rather forthright claims to the territory, You should have had a chance to get someone to arrive with the cavalry.

The other benefit to the short game is that Early Leader Syndrome is not as much of a factor. Once people realise your on a roll, it could all be far too late.

If you can get a big superiority in one force of arms then a quick increase can be achieved by doubling your supply centres in 4 turns and grabbing the win before anyone even notices that you`ve turned up.
e.g.. If Japan can quickly gain the upper hand in fleets then it will be difficult for the Dutch and French to get a defence up. Given that with any luck they have spent the first few years taking swipes at each other, the chances of them finding mutually agreeable terms before your fleets are anchoring in the Gulf of Siam and the Java sea are seriously reduced.

The Medium Game (24 supply centres)

The medium game has more traps to fall into than the short game. A quick dash to grab all those open supply centres just waiting for your wise and beneficial protection may just throw you into an early and unwelcome lead. If this puts you ahead of the accepted big boys of Russia and Britain then you really could be in big trouble. There is nothing they like to see better than a strong China or Holland that they can point to as Number One threat to world order (and taking peoples gaze away from them in the meanwhile) and organise the world opposition to your cunning plans

Slow and steady progress is the name of the game. Usually one strong alliance should see you through to the end game stage and then its a case of guessing how far down the line it will be before your ally stabs you or whether you take up the knife first.

Unlike the short game, the superiority in one force of arms is only beneficial to a point. Without at least some other back up , life will get very restricted. Whereas people might not notice your sudden improvement on 7 or 8 supply centres to the stunning win of 16 supply centres, improving on 16 supply centres will not go unmissed. If you have mainly concentrated on building Armies, then it wont take a rocket scientist to work out that the only course of expansion left to you will be via the mainland!!

The medium game gives a bit more security for the smaller powers of France and the Ottoman Empire. If they have been taken out early in the game, the occupiers must always keep in mind that the stab when it comes (and it will come!) will probably be centred around this area as it will normally be at the quiet end of the victims cunning plans.

The Full Game (30 supply centres)

The full game and most challenging ,has all the constraints of the medium game but with the added fly in the ointment of stalemate lines. There are 3 important stalemate lines within the board that are very significant. (see….have a look at the Western stalemate lines and have a look at the Eastern stalemate lines )

The 3 lines (the western, eastern and southeastern) are quite small really and quite easy to achieve if not kept under close scrutiny by the other powers in the game. The reason for the significance of these 3 lines is that the sum of the three is greater than the winning post of 30 scs. So if you are not one of the lucky owners, then youll find the chances of winning slight and the chances of being included in a draw at the least, difficult to achieve. Therefore even from the start, it is important to consider the value of areas being negotiated from within this framework and to weight matters accordingly.

e.g. For Britain to give up Singapore is a strong aid to helping Holland to achieve the southeastern stalemate line. However, if this leaves you free to take out the Turk and the Russian and gain the western stalemate line then perhaps it might be worth it…. and anyway, you can always feed information to the French to help them make the Dutchmans life difficult

the stalemate lines are the added bit of security that even things up for the Turk and Frenchmen as they both “just” happen to lie over two of them. Careful diplomacy between the protagonists could help to swing the balance in favour of these apparent minnows of the game (can China or Holland really afford to let Russia and Britain swallow Turkey up?).

Likewise, the third stalemate line puts a black cloud over the apparent rosy life enjoyed by the Japanese Empire. The combination of 3 fleets and close proximity to the Eastern stalemate line might be too much for China and Russia to swallow and a careful path needs to be taken by the Japanese Emperor to avoid this potentially fatal combination forming against him.