Getting 7 people together to play Diplomacy can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, there are a ton of opportunities to play! Tournaments in the NADF Grand Prix circuit make up the backbone of the face-to-face hobby. Some of these events have been held for over thirty years in the same location, others are brand new. Some traditional face-to-face tournaments became virtual events during Covid, but face-to-face play is back! Below is a list of regularly scheduled tournaments, leagues, and events. If no contact information is given, then details can be found either on the NADF or the vWDC Discord servers. The Diplomacy Broadcast Network also has a full list of scheduled tournaments on their website.
The Cascadia Open takes place in Vancouver, Canada (currently the only regular Canadian event). Chris Brand is the tournament organizer. The tournament is usually held at the beginning of the year at the end of January or early February. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
Totalcon is a general games tournament in Marlborough, MA which hosts a Diplomacy event. Alex Maslow is the current tournament director. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Whipping tournament is held in the California Bay Area in the Spring each year. Adam Silverman and Siobhan Nolen are the tournament organizers. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
Dixiecon has been held over the Memorial Day weekend in May since 1987, in Chapel Hill North Carolina. David Hood is the tournament organizer. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Regatta is held in Denver Colorado. The tournament organizer is Manus Hand and the Armada Diplomacy Club. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Boston Massacre is held in Boston, MA. The tournament organizer is Alex Maslow. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
Weasel Moot is a tournment held in Chicago, IL. It is organized by the Windy City Weasels Diplomacy Club. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
Liberty Cup is a tournament held in Philadelphia, PA. The tournament organizer is Bill Hackenbracht. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The diplomacy tournament at Carnage Gaming Convention is held in Vermont. The tournament organizer is Dave Maletsky. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Diplomacy Broadcast Network (DBN) holds a virtual invitation tournament every year in February. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Virtual Summer Classic is an open virtual tournament that is held each summer. It is organized by a group of people within the vWDC Discord server. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Virtual World Diplomacy Championship is an open virtual tournament that is held each December. It is organized by a group of people within the vWDC Discord server. The winner is crown the Virtual World Diplomacy Champion within the vWDC server. Below are details about the next (or most recent) event:
The Virtual Diplomacy league is run by Zach Moore. Details about upcoming VDL games can be found on the vWDC Discord server under the “Virtual Diplomacy League” section.
The Tour of Britain is a league run by Gary Sturley. Details about the Tour and upcoming games can be found on the vWDC Discord server under the “tour of Britain” section.
Whether you play in a tournament or on one of the sites/apps above, your game may be scored under a particular scoring system. While 18 supply centers is the object of the game, it is actually rare for a Diplomacy game to be played to that conclusion, either because the position becomes “stalemated” (i.e. no one can achieve 18 centers) or because the players do not have (or want to take) the time needed for completion. Because of this reality, and in order to allow for multiple games over the span of a tournament or league season to be amalgamated into an overall rating, various systems have been developed for use.
Draw Sized Scoring (DSS) is used in some online games as well as at the Dixiecon tournament. Players achieve a higher score by reducing the number of players sharing in a drawn result. In the original version, called Draws Include All Survivors (DIAS), each survivor in a draw receives the same number of points, with some variations also added points per center as a tiebreaker. In more modern versions, survivors are able to vote themselves out of the draw (non-DIAS) but still receive lesser points for survival. The Dixiecon Scoring System is a non-DIAS version of DSS.
Place-Based Scoring is another popular type of system, in which the goal of the game, short of taking 18 centers, is to have more centers than other players when the game is called. While the number of centers is obviously key, it usually matters very little in such systems how many more centers a player has versus the next place in the end-of-game pecking order. A popular example of Place-Based is Carnage Scoring.
Lead-Based Scoring encourages the board leader to widen the gap between that score and rival players, by increasing the benefit of that lead with each additional center. An early version of this type was Sum of Squares, which rewards a large spread between the topper and all the other powers. A more recent version, which combines this effect with additional play incentives for the non-topping players is called Tribute.
There are other systems as well. Though you may end up preferring one over another, you should try to learn how to succeed regardless of which system is used.
The North American Diplomacy Federation hosts its own server within Discord, where you can find discussion, formation of classic and Gunboat games, and other important content. Click here for an invite.
If you are new to using Discord, click here for an introductory video from Zach Moore of the Diplomacy Broadcast Network:
Once you learn how to navigate Discord, there are other Diplomacy servers you will want to check out. The Nexus community runs online tournaments utilizing multiple websites and apps to encourage a “nexus” of players between those otherwise disparate communities. Click here for an invite.
The Virtual World Diplomacy Community is the hub of Diplomacy activity in the new medium of virtual face to face play. This server hosts the virtual version of various face to face events cancelled due to Covid, it hosts the Virtual Diplomacy Championship, hosts Masterclass meetings most weekends where players chat in a conference call format about Diplomacy subjects, houses the Club Growth Initiative, and lots of other features. Click Here for an invite
One good thing to arise from the 2020 pandemic was the creation of a totally new way to play Diplomacy, virtual face-to-face. Run by Commissioner Zach Moore, the Virtual Diplomacy League runs monthly gamedays using a version of Tribute scoring, to culminate in a January Championship Top Board. The games are run on the Backstabbr platform, with player negotiation and overall organization hosted on the vWDC Discord server.
There is also VDL information on the Diplomacy Broadcast Network website.