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Posted on Oct 7, 2005 in Electronic Games

Diplomacy – Game Review (PC)

Armchair General

Zooming in closer reveals the location of Armies and Navies. Issuing orders to your forces couldn’t be simpler, a simple mouse-click and drag on the unit to which you wish to assign orders will display a small menu of options be they for that unit to hold, move, convoy or support.


Move the Fleet…

As orders are issued, large sweeping 3D arrows show you where your units will attempt to move during the resolution phase of the turn. Of course, it’s impossible to know what your opponents are attempting to do and so you’ll never be quite sure if all of your attempted movements will be successful or not until the resolution phase of the turn.



Nice reflection!

Once all orders have been given, it’s time for the resolution phase, and the game allows you to have the option of either playing this out and watching as each attack unfolds, or for the impatient, an instant resolution option which will do exactly what it says on the tin and give you the revised state of play immediately.

Units which fail in an attack or a defence must retreat and their icons are symbolically tipped over to indicate that they need to be moved. It’s little things like this that give the feel of the PC game as one of board game brought to life.


You are beaten…

Of course there is one other important aspect other than simply moving units around the map – and that is the negotiation. In the previous PC version of Diplomacy, various "rooms" were set aside for negotiation where players, real and AI alike, would huddle together to thrash out their plans for European domination. There is no such feature here, it’s a lot simpler than that.

Let us say that you want to open up talks with France, you simply click on the speech bubble in that nation’s symbol and voila – up pops the French leader in all his 3D glory waiting for your proposals. But how do you make those proposals? Well, this is the clever bit. Now that you have opened up talks, you effectively enter a draft movement mode, whereby you can indicate what you want to do by giving draft orders to any units appearing on the map – even those that are not your own – exactly the same way as you would issue real orders in the main game mode. So, imagine that you want a French Fleet to convoy some of your troops to Spain, you would move your Army as usual, and you would also issue draft orders to the French Fleet to undertake the manoeuvre. Draft orders appear as dotted lines on the map and once you have completed your proposals, you simply mail them to the other player for him or her to accept, decline or even amend to make them more palatable.


Draft orders issued to foreign units appear with dotted lines

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