The board game of the Alpha nerds


There are two things that make Diplomacy so unique and challenging. The first is that, unlike in most board games, players don’t take turns moving. Everyone writes down their moves and puts them in a box. The moves are then read aloud, every piece on the board moving simultaneously.

The second is that prior to each move the players are given time to negotiate with each other, as a group or privately. The result is something like a cross between Risk, poker, and Survivor.

I played this game in college and loved it. The key is you can’t win the game without cooperating with at least one other player but you also can’t win without screwing over at least one other player. The “when do I screw over my friend?” is the most fraught part of the game.

  • Neil

    I love the way that you find the challenging question is “when” you should screw over your friend, not “if” you should 🙂

    • LOL Oh yeah. We played hundreds of games over the years in college. The “when” is key. 🙂

  • EW Parris

    My brother (who went on to be a US Ambassador ) introduced us to this game in the 70s. It’s a game that lasts for hours and causes family resentments that last for ever.

    • LOL Oh yeah. I’m still pissed off at a guy in college for screwing me over one game – 25+ years ago. 🙂

  • Jim McPherson

    I’ve successfully completed one game of this. It was a 12-hour affair. Bought my own copy in case the stars ever aligned for a second game…

    • Good luck! I tried playing the email version but it’s the cutthroat, face to face nature of it that I really liked better. 🙂