|Please bear with me through the following, rather long (yet all the same brutally redacted) quote from the greatest dystopian novel ever written. I apologize for eviscerating the passage of much of its punch (I highly recommend reading it in full), but I made the editorial decision to confine the excerpt as nearly as possible to Diplomacy. Please note the poignancy of the third pseudo-paragraph to Diplomacy.
War is Peace
The splitting up of the world into three great super-states was an event which could be and indeed was foreseen before the middle of the twentieth century... In one combination or another, these three super-states are permanently at war, and have been so for the past twenty-five years. War, however, is no longer the desperate, annihilating struggle that it was in the early decades of the twentieth century. It is a warfare of limited aims between combatants who are unable to destroy one another, have no material cause for fighting and are not divided by any genuine ideological difference...
War has in fact changed its character... To understand the nature of the present war - for in spite of the regrouping which occurs every few years, it is always the same war - one must realize in the first place that it is impossible for it to be decisive. None of the three super-states could be definitively conquered even by the other two in combination. They are too evenly matched, and their natural defenses are too formidable... Secondly, there is no longer, in a material sense, anything to fight about...
None of the three super-states ever attempts any maneuver which involves the risk of serious defeat. When any large operation is undertaken, it is usually a surprise attack against an ally. The strategy that all three powers are following, or pretend to themselves that they are following, is the same. The plan is, by a combination of fighting, bargaining, and well-timed strokes of treachery, to acquire a ring of bases completely encircling one or other of the rival states, and then to sign a pact of friendship with that rival and remain on peaceful terms for so many years as to lull suspicion to sleep... This scheme, it is hardly necessary to say, is a mere daydream, impossible of realization.
Here it is necessary to repeat what has been said earlier, that by becoming continuous war has fundamentally changed its character. In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistakable victory or defeat...
The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This - although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense - is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
The ZAT draw proposal succeeds.
The Kingdom of Dulceria (now under Zonotrichian management) celebrates with a commemorative set of chocolate-covered were-hamsters. The Hembrians and especially the Iteans survive by the narrowest margins. The super-states of Adaria, Trigspor, and Zonotrichia continue eternally in a futile, ultimately winless effort to achieve global domination. In the process, they squander the productivity of their civilizations, descending into dingy, cheap, war-crazed near-slavery. Only the Party and Big Brother grasp the ultimate truth: power. Such is the inevitable conclusion of our game of Anarchist Dystopia.
Hear ye! Hear ye!! The publishing of end of game statements may now commence!!! Now is the time to tell us all just how devilishly smart you really were -- and how conniving, duplicitous, and depraved were your foes.
Please also discuss the Anarchy variant in your EoG! I want to know how you liked it. What did you think of the draft in rounds? How early did you start negotiating with other players about SC picks? Would you do it differently now? What about the chaos builds? Would you want more/fewer neutral SCs and more/fewer players? I want to know (because I damn well intend to GM another game of this).
In closing, I wish to note that this was an absolutely extraordinary game of Diplomacy to GM. I have never had one like it.
NOT. ONE. SINGLE. NMR.
Gentlemen... I give you a standing ovation. That is a remarkable team effort. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity. And congratulations to Warren, Maslow, and Mike on your draw.