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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 September 20, 2017
I owned the original version of this game and I can tell you it caused much dissention amongst good friends. Some long term! Try and play with strangers and save yourself grief. Game play is basically the same but the markers are now made of cardboard (instead of plastic or metal) and the board is probably half the thickness of the original. I don't understand why they went so cheap. I would have gladly paid extra for the original pieces and board. I went and scored a good deal on a basically new 1999 version of the game with the metal pieces on an auction site. Wound up returning this. If you have never played this before and you enjoy turn-based war games, or you want to recap old memories of back-stabbing past, pick this up. For all my old-school friends look for a used version you will likely hate the paper artillery, ships, and whatnots.
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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 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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VINE VOICEon November 21, 2013
It is a classic game.

Diplomacy is an excellent game where the name really does get at the essence of the product.

Players take the role of head of state for countries during the Great Powers period.

Through hook and by crook they connive, wheel, deal, and renege on agreements in order to capture territories and capitols.

It is not a matter of whether you will betray the other players, it is only a matter of which turn.

The rules are amazingly simple, and there is no chance involved.

For those of you with a mind towards stealth and subversion, this is the perfect strategy game.
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on December 26, 2017
Great game, and this anniversary edition is well-crafted and pleasing to the eye. Only quibble is that the color scheme of the units is not suitable for low light conditions or even the slightest colorblindness. I found that we had to play with some of the close color hues distinguished by placing the units with the plain side up. I will be cutting myself a different set of unit pieces.
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on July 31, 2014
I played this game as a child. Now I play this game as an adult. One of the rare games which does a good job in taking the randomness out of a strategy game. It's all about negotiating with other players and then either supporting or ... um... not supporting the decisions out of the negotiations. Back stab early in the game and no one will trust you. Do it late in the game and people will remember the next game played. You learn to reason with the other players which are usually your friends.
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on December 17, 2017
Everything is fairly well made. The cardboard pieces old up well and nothing has broken after generous usage.

If you do get a copy, I'd recommend picking up a few small plastic bags too. The box doesn't have any compartments for organizing the pieces which creates a bit of a mess when trying to find the proper pieces during gameplay. Other than that, everything works as it should.
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