The Turkish player had a nice end of game as well:

Thank you to everyone for a very interesting first experience with Diplomacy.

Special thanks to George for navigating us through the whole process and answering my newbie questions.

I would also like to single out Russia who was my ally from the first turn to the last and amazingly we never broke trust with each other. We had very open and transparent communications from the beginning and our alliance held through to the end.

From my perspective, here is how the game played out:

• Early on, I was just trying not to lose and reached out to all my immediate neighbors. I quickly was able to agree on an alliance with Russia and later on Italy to take out Austria. Austria aggressively came after me in the Balkans so I felt that I had no choice but to focus on taking him out.

• Once Austria was defeated, I was in a quandary. I was allied with my two closest neighbors (Italy and Russia) with nowhere to expand. Italy realized this and suggested we form a three way alliance. He would allow me to move through the Ionian to take on France on the other side. While it would take me a long time to get my forces anywhere that I could engage someone, I felt that it had little downside as I would be all around Italy and could keep Italy honest.

• Once I was able to get to France and Iberia, I thought I had come to an agreement with England to split up France. He helped me for one turn and then decided to stab me. Interestingly, after the fact, I learned that Russia was getting frustrated with the amount of time it took me to engage in a fight so he and England agreed to have England attack me to make me feel threatened and try to get me to attack Russia to give him a pretense for attacking me.

• While annoyed at the setback, I wanted to honor my agreements and never thought about attacking Italy or Russia. Interestingly, England went all out in attacking me and vacated England to do so. I actually kept Russia from attacking England by saying that would break the alliance (since he would be getting too far ahead), but once England put all his forces against me, I let Russia attack. I believe this to be the key turning point when the England/Russia alliance broke down.

• In the meantime, Italy was so worried about Russia that he stopped attacking. He and Russia couldn't help themselves with their distrust and entered a viscous cycle of grand language denouncing each other. You would guess that one of them was an opera director. I tried to keep the alliance but it was clear that the two of them were going nuclear and that war would be upon us. I stayed neutral in that fight but made it clear to Russia that I would be forced to attack him if he got too strong.

• Unfortunately, Italy made a series of improper moves (or forgot to submit moves) which caused him to lose the North. Even though I really didn't want to attack Italy (and would have been fine with a 3-way DIAS), I knew that it was just a matter of time before he would be defeated so I took his Southern centers.

• At that point, England made it clear that he thought Russia and I would go for a 2-way DIAS and he wanted no part of that. The interesting thing was that Russia and I had not agreed to a 2-way DIAS and in fact Russia consistently wanted to keep his options open for the solo. As a result, I was able to get England to my side to stall Russia and try to force a 3-way DIAS (which I would have been fine with).

• Once Russia realized that he could not solo with both of us against him, it brought us back to the table. He made it clear that he would not accept a DIAS with England as part of it so we ended up finally agreeing to a 2-way DIAS.

• Interestingly, either of us could have stabbed at the end to nab the solo but we both decided to act honorably and accept the 2-way DIAS

Like Russia, I found the game interesting, but not necessarily fun. Throughout the game, I tried to do exactly what I said and honor all of my agreements. I think Russia and I were able to keep the alliance throughout the game because we generally were able to have open, honest and frequent communications without too much bluster. I could not say that for any other player. The need to be duplicitous or stab other players eventually wore on me and part of the reason to agree to the 2-way DIAS was just to bring the game to an end as quickly as possible.

That being said, it was a great experience and I hope to play a different game with all of you in the future. Something cooperative...