Or "Is It Called Stockholm Syndrome if Oslo Is Your Home Port?"

I can't even remember the last game of PBEM Diplomacy I participated in. I'm pretty sure it was some edition of Patriot Games on Redscape. Suffice to say that it was so long ago, my expectations for staying afloat in shark-filled waters were not high.

Because of this rust, I was pretty set from the outset to pick an alliance and see it through regardless of how it went down. I pretty much thought from the initial negotiations that I'd see a Triple Alliance develop especially when Russia conceded Sweden to Germany with the opening gaffe of the St.Pete fleet having a hard time of getting out of port (must of been some party). Clearly, I was not the only one who was a bit rusty.

Thus, with thoughts of the Triple Alliance dancing in my head, I got perhaps a bit overhanded with my cheekiness to Italy and Austria since it was clear that they were thick as thieves. I pretty much wrote off Russia and as for Turkey, well little did I know that I would soon be in the same boat.

As any of us feel when we find out that the pain in our scapula from reading turn results isn't bursitis, I was hurt and dismayed. As France pointed out, it was a good tactical move at the time and might have worked had Germany been more involved in the game. So, faced with Germany going AWOL and Russia seemingly the next course on the Austrian-Italian menu, I didn't see much option left but to play a naval equivalent of the French foreign legion - the English Foreign Fleet ("EFF You" might make a good motto).

Of course, Italy and Austria tempted me with thoughts of rising like a Phoenix and regaining control of the home sod, but all I could see that doing was weakening any defense against their ability to share in a two-way victory. I think they still win on style points, pulling of the Key Lepanto was fun to watch, but I give kudos to France as well for recognizing it from the onset and wrangling enough resources to stalemate it.

Finally, thanks to George for the invite and management of the game. I enjoyed playing and loved the historical narratives - which only reminded me of how little I really know and that I should be reading a bit more rather than binge-watching on Netflix.