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Showing 1-10 of 100 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 133 reviews
on August 12, 2015
This game appeals to those with an intellectual bent who enjoy negotiating and building coalitions in a geopolitical context. Diplomacy is to Risk as chess is to checkers. There are no dice and the results of each turn solely depend on each player's orders and the support he/she can garner from other players. You should play this game only if you know people well enough that they won't be offended after the game if you betray an alliance.

The classic version uses blocks of different colors to represent the armies and fleets of different countries and it is easy to distinguish one country's units from another's. However, with the cardboard pieces in this version, the pieces look much the same (I have a slight degree of color blindness). I plan to use multicolored blocks and multicolored "popsicle sticks" (cut into thirds) I purchased from a hobby store to use instead of the cardboard pieces; I'll still have to paint some of those white. Multicolored stickers for the cardboard pieces would be an easier solution.
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on May 14, 2015
If you have 7 people and a whole day to kill, this game is great. Don't plan for anything less than 6 hours, though. (Hence 4 stars, 'cuz it's just *too* long AND if there is even one "weak link" it seriously unbalances the game)

The board shows pre-WWI Europe and the seven players take on the role of each of the seven powers. An 8th person to be gamemaster would help (as noted by other reviewers), or you need one or two players to have studied (and basically memorized) the rule book. Game play is relatively straightforward:
1) negotiate with other players to develop alliances and determine others' intentions
2) write your orders secretly
3) reveal & resolve orders
4) retreat defeated units / lose overwhelmed units (who have no retreat option) // add new units (after Fall turn) for countries that captured more cities.

The only randomness in this game is human nature- which is plenty! This game is not about the components or the theme, it's all about the player interactions. Even relatively reluctant players get pulled into it and end up having lots of fun- everything is laid out on the board, and the game really boils down to "how well can you convince your neighbor to do what you want?"

Just make sure that you're really good friends with the people you play with- and you all know not to take things personally: Deal breaking is just business.
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on December 15, 2013
The game board is very well made and looks beautiful too, with sharp lines and good color. The pieces the,selves are cardboard, and although this disappointed me at first, the pieces are actually some tough-ass cardboard if I ever saw it. Rulebook is clear enough. No disappointments in production quality.

Gameplay is tense and I remember multiple times being immersed in the game and the players. I remember everyone writing down orders as fast as they could. I remember being betrayed and betraying others. 10/10 would play again. If i could find more players...
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on December 13, 2012
I love this game. I think it is a brilliant way to spend an afternoon, however; this is not a game for everyone.

The good:
One of the most in depth games I have ever played.
Takes hours and hours. (A positive for me)
Can play by mail or play by email.
Simple rules but deep strategy.

The bad:
Takes hours and hours. Honestly, I've never seen a game take less than 5 or 6 hours... Some people won't like that.
Component quality is so-so. The map is beautiful, but the pieces are cardboard... Honestly, I would much prefer wooden blocks or metal pieces. Plastic would be acceptable as well. (I recommend getting wooden blocks from a craft store and painting them to give the game a touch more class)
You need the right play group. This game is at it's best as a 7 player game, and people who are faint of heart will not like this game. It's very backstabby.
ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR KIDS. It says 12 and up... That's waaaay too young. I say 16+

In conclusion: Do research before you buy it. See if it's a game you would be interested in. If you can handle long games of political intrigue... This game is for you, if not, don't get it.
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on December 27, 2014
This is a fantastic game because it relies on complex strategies, like chess, where you have to consider multiple different possible moves and outcomes, but has a very pronounced human element, as well. There is a learning curve but by the third game everyone is very much up to speed, and even the first game is not too difficult, but play may proceed more slowly. What makes it interesting is the interpersonal dynamics of the negotiations between moves. Luck is mainly a result of player choices, there are no dice. The difficulty is getting enough players--you really should have at least five players or more to have the most fun with it. The game tonight involved five---France, Germany, and Turkey allied against Russia and Austria-Hungary, and although outnumbered, Russia-Austria-Hungary was holding their own and pressing Germany hard and within a couple campaigns of destroying Turkey when the game was halted. France had a giant army and Navy (having stayed largely out of the conflict!) but was in no position to defend or help either of its allies. This particular set has a great board and good maps but the pieces are punched out of cardboard. I recommend using Risk wooden blocks for the armies and the Risk beans for navies. Works much better than the cardboards. The flags made out of cardboard, however, are fine.
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on April 15, 2016
Great, great, great game. Even the board looks great. We are still waiting to get a full compliment of 7 players for a hardcore game. As it stands, if you have friends who won't get mad about what goes on in a game, and if you have several hours to spend on a strategy game with no luck, but instead negotiation, this won't disappoint.

(Well, mostly. The reason for the lost star is that the game comes with flat, square cardboard pieces for your fleet and army units. They look so cheap I decided to not even use them, and bought my own set of differently-colored plastic game pieces (ships and cannons) from Amazon to use with the game; it adds tremendously to the feel when playing. That they wouldn't provide quality game pieces for an extra $10-$15 is a little disappointing--good, quality games typically cost more than the $25 price point Wizards of the Coast was apparently trying to hit. Still worth it, just worth noting that if you want a real wargame feel, you might prefer your own pieces.)
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on September 18, 2013
This game...I bought Diplomacy for my husband because he has had it on his wish list for some time. I am a HUGE fan of games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Elder Sign, Pandemic, etc., and thought this would be something fun to do together.

WRONG.

If you're looking for a silly good time like you get with the games above, don't bother with Diplomacy. We first played the two-player version, and my brain hurt just trying to absorb the instructions. We decided the best way to learn was to just start playing and correct ourselves when we discovered we weren't doing something right. It took us a couple of hours just to get going, and then we played a couple more fast-paced games. I have never played Risk, Axis and Allies, or any other war-related strategy-type games, and so I found myself at a significant disadvantage. It's difficult to see where you have some of your pieces because they blend with the board, so meticulous record-keeping helped a little, but overall I found my husband was much better at keeping track of his forces and thinking far ahead of me. I am not a great loser, so I found it frustrating, but it must have been at least a little fun because I continually challenged him to rematches.

We have only once played with a group (5 people, I think), and THAT'S when things really started to get fun. It turns into quite the riot when you run into another room, collude with another playing to stab a friend in the back, and they end up betraying you on the next turn. This is really where you learn who of your friends and family are the good liars, who are the ruthless strategists, and who you're going to kick the crap out of.

I only give 4 stars for durability because of the insane number of teeny tiny pieces. With diligence, this game will last a long time, but because some of the little tokens blend with the board so well, it can be really difficult to make sure everything gets put away. On a more basic level, all the pieces are thick cardboard and the board itself also seems sturdy and well-constructed.
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on June 3, 2017
Lengthy but enjoyable. Fewer players = more conquest. More players = more conflict. Nice cross between "Risk" and "Settlers"
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on November 21, 2016
It is a good game but I didn't notice that it takes a lot of time to play. I prefer games that last around 1 or 2 hours. The estimated time for this game is 6 hours. I am not saying it is a bad game but keep in mind that it last 6 hours before buying it.
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on February 5, 2012
I had first discovered the joy of this game around my High School years, when some friends of mine would get together and have parties centered around playing it (we weren't the coolest bunch). Needless to say I fell in love with it enough to purchase the game a few years later to share this experience in my college setting.

I'm not going to break down how to play for you here but rather give you a brief overview of what to expect in purchasing this:
* A learning curve that might take one or two games to master and an attentive reading of the game manual.
* The possibility of the never ending search for 7 players to make the game both playable and enjoyable (it's possible to play with any number smaller, or larger if you're that creative, but the game shines in its essence at 7 players).
* A game play method that makes no use of dice, and therefor no chance is involved (so if you're a gambler at heart the appeal lies only in making risky moves).
* A game play method that utilizes diplomatic skills over tactics (a two player game being the exception), communication over might and movement, and treachery mixed with teamwork over getting lucky and taking on everyone at once.
* A slow play (unless you call a game) that can take well over an hour, maybe over 2.
* A game that involves a necessity to understand its mechanics and workings in order for it to be enjoyable.

In short, the game remains my favorite (as well as political celebrities JFK and Kissinger's, as was originally stated by the game's distributor: Avalon Hill), and if you have 6 other friends that feel the same way it can be a great time (although when the game boils down to 2, try to ensure you have something else to keep your friend's entertained). Even still, the game requires a certain know-how, can be tough to explain to new-comers (I always shoot for "Risk without dice" and hope they get it), and requires a good 1-3 hours to play through (the time needed grows less with experience).

Also, for those who are already fans of the game, considering the price of the other more recent releases (including the '99 version): metal and plastic pieces may look nice, but the cardboard markers in the version work fine, are fairly durable, and aren't to unattractive themselves. I recommend this version to those who simply want to play the game rather than collect it. It's very nice looking, durable, and functional (despite a lack of attractive plastic or metal).
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