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Diplomacy - 2008 Edition

Diplomacy - 2008 Edition

Image courtesy of Avalon Hill

Gameplay in Brief:

Played on a map of Europe circa 1900, Diplomacy may be the ultimate negotiation board game. The goal is to take over a set number of European countries, but there are no dice to determine the outcome of battles. It's done by mixing clever military tactics with superb negotiation -- and, usually, more than a little backstabbing.

A game of Diplomacy is basically a full-day commitment, but there's nothing quite like the feeling of convincing an opponent to help you secure your own victory.

The Basics:

For 2 to 7 players (best with 6 or 7), ages 12 and up. Diplomacy takes six to eight hours per game, sometimes more.


Diplomacy was designed by Allan Calhammer.


Diplomacy was originally self-published in 1959. It was published by Games Research in 1961 and is now published by Avalon Hill / Hasbro (with editions in 1999 and 2008). Editions have also been published by at least 10 other companies.


Diplomacy is a negotiation game with simultaneous movement.

Also by Allan Calhammer:

Diplomacy is by far Calhammer's best-known game. He also designed Hyperspace (1967, self-published) and Suriago Strait (1979, Nimrod Game Development). He is also the author of the 1999 book Calhamer on Diplomacy: The Boardgame "Diplomacy" and Diplomatic History.


Diplomacy is in the Games magazine Hall of Fame. It is also on my list of the best negotiation games.

Why Diplomacy is Part of the Games Timeline:

No other negotiation game is more cutthroat or more intense than Diplomacy. Here are the other games I believe are the most culturally and historically significant games published since 1800.
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