- Should I play a Mentor Game?
Plenty of people learn Diplomacy just by playing. You don’t NEED a mentor game to learn.
In the mentor game, you will have an experienced player to ask questions of and get advice. I think that can help shorten the learning curve. In my games, I also have a series of short “lectures” that I publish on various topics to help new players. I also link to hobby resources – there is so much out there, I try to point to some of the more useful stuff when you are getting started.
You will get the most value out of the mentor game if you communicate often with the mentor and ask questions or just chat about the game.
But I don’t think anything in a mentor game is irreplaceable. You can figure it all out for yourself too. If you do jump straight into a game, I’d recommend starting with a “no rank” game to learn the ropes. Once you have one game under your belt (or even just a few seasons) you’ll probably be ready to try a rank game.
- Can I access messages post-game?
For 7 days following the end of the game, you will be able add new messages to public press. This is called the after-game chat phase.
Immediately following the game, you will not be able to send messages to individual powers, but you will still be able to access the messages you sent and received for 6 months. (After that time they are deleted.) Unfortunately, only the message title and date sent are saved – the season sent and recipients on your sent mail are stripped out of the mail box (you can still see the recipients if you open the mail.) This makes finding old mails a bit harder so if there is something you want to save, you may want to copy it before the game ends.
As for the “lectures” and links I posted in this mentor game, they are all posted in the forum. I am always editing/updating them, but hopefully they are getting better over time.
- I’m in another game and no one is communicating or trying to stop the leader form winning. What can I do?
That is the hardest part of Diplomacy, the people. You can’t force them to write, or to try hard, or to play well. You just have to deal with who they are and work with what you have got.
In Diplomacy, like Poker, even if you play perfectly, you can still lose. You only control of a minority of the pieces on the board, but you need the majority working for you to win. Since you can’t control the other players, you are never totally in control of your own fate.
A few suggestions. Keep communicating once a turn with your neighbors, even if they don’t reply. That keeps the communication channel open. If you get no response at all, simplify and just write down orders for them. Maybe if they don’t have to do any work, they will follow them, especially if they are good orders that help them too. You just have to be patient and hope a few players come around.
Finally, avoid the problem in the first place by getting into higher quality games. See lecture #20.