Let me make this a brief end of game statement...

I forgot how much I disliked this particular variant, it's not very well designed and not balanced at all but lucky me, I drew one of the "better" powers. Like any game of Diplomacy you need to find a solid ally fast. I had three options. Eire, Spain or Poland. Things got easy when our original Spain failed to write much at all, and it was not just to me, he was silent with everyone. I figured it best to instead of attacking him right off, it might play better to simply string him along and coupled with Poland being so very talkative and eager, it was clear Poland was my main ally.

I was quite happy to work with Eire but he got caught trying to play me against Poland and vice-versa. He says he never did so but things simply didn't add up and it was pretty clear he DID try to work deals against us both and with the silent Spain, it was easy to write George off early (and that was sad because i really did like writing to him).

Poland and I took a big early lead and we were TIGHT. Then our original Spain dropped out and was replaced with Steve, a solid player no less. Damn, I was caught playing it one way with the original player and getting my way playing things just right stringing him along and now things suddenly change with a new player.

The new Spain saw his best option to grow in Burgundy and with this new threat, Poland and I brought along Sicily. The three of us were quite powerful together but things changed further when Sicily suddenly changed sides. I think he made a big mistake when he did so, He had assured safety and a solid alliance but changed to the dark side with people who had no allegiance to him as he had with Poland and I.

It was clear I was out of the race and I would never allow those who attacked me to do well. So I was quite happy to help my ONLY ally in Poland. While I did not want to see him solo, I DID want to see him top the board in a draw, if he managed a solo along the way...c'est la vie, It was not my intent but I was not going to do a heckuvalot to stop him either (maybe get in his way a bit to prevent the solo but that was about the extent of my ambitions when the game suddenly ended.

I think we could have played this out a while and seen pretty much the same outcome. Maybe a power or two would have been eliminated along the way but a draw was pretty much assured.

Congrats to all who played
Especial congrats to my Polish ally, he was the game leader when we ended and he gets a pseudo win in my book. It was a PLEASANT experience working with you, never during the game had I entertained any ideas to attack you, we were (in my mind) as tight as nay two could be.

And further thanks go out to Kal for a well managed game. When we found out how things came crashing down around him, it was even MORE impressive how he managed to trudge through adversity for our enjoyment. Thank you for a wonderful game! But more importantly, my prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time. The game simply needed top end to allow you to get back to more time with your loved ones, sometimes we can use a diversion from real life, but I don't think this was that needed diversion and am happy to call the game early for your benefit. I can guarantee, not a single one of us minds calling this early, you take care and come back to us when things get back to a bit more normal. That time will come, just not now! this sounds pretty sappy but you ARE loved buddy, take care!