Overview of each country

Strategy and AAR's for World Diplomacy variant

Overview of each country

Postby Master Radishes » 05 Aug 2009, 03:15

As many are new to World Dip, they may find the board intimidating, and don't know where to start with their country. So I've just written up a quick overview of each country to get people started on the right track. (Obviously there may be some bias here, as I inject my own personal thoughts on strategy that others may disagree with; but hey, others are free to post their own thoughts as well.)

Each section follows a basic format: a quick briefing of how each country fared in past games, an overview of the country’s prospects, a brief rundown of the pros and cons of potential alliance structures, a guide to mid-game expansion, and finally some suggested opening moves.


Western North America
Previous records: Survived, 2 SCs (WD1); Survived, 11 SCs (WD2)

WNA (as it shall now be called, to save my fingers the trouble of typing out the full name every time) is perhaps the weak sister in the North American triangle, at least to begin with. With only one army, you have to pray that USA and Canada allow you to survive the first year. USA can take Midwest away from you at a whim, and if Canada goes to, say, Alberta right away, he’s got your nuts in a vice. That first year, and the diplomacy that will occur during it, is crucial; but if you make it out unscathed, you should be in fine shape. (Perhaps consider heading to Monterrey and threatening USA with bouncing him in Mexico if he doesn’t allow you to keep Midwest; as for Canada, you’re just going to have to talk him out of blitzing you.)

As with any balanced triangle, you’ll need an ally. An alliance with USA against Canada should prove profitable – your fleets can pincher him from either side of the continent, and your armies will outnumber him in the middle. On the flip side, an alliance with Canada against the USA might be more difficult, as your fleets are useless, and his land border is a bit more defensible; he won’t be able to hold you off forever, but he’ll put up a good fight. However, there’s a greater chance of more of his SCs ending up in your hand (you’d get NWT and Man from Canada; the USA offers a chance at Gr Lakes, Deep South, Mexico, perhaps even Florida).

Midgame expansion is important for WNA – you have to get off your isolated continent and expand elsewhere if you want to continue to be a major player. Expansion can take several routes. The obvious one is across the Pacific; this offers plenty of space to manoeuvre, but it is a long journey, and one easily slowed by a competent China (if he is still alive and kicking). You could instead head north into the Arctic (assuming Canada is gone/allows you to) and go for northern Eurasia somewhere; there are three countries there who might stop you, but if the conditions are right it could prove very profitable. There’s also South America to look at as a choice of target – if Colombia and Argentina are weak in the naval department, you could sweep in and chip away at them.

A fairly standard WNA opening would be Ind-Mid, BrC-Ala, and Clf-Mon or Clf-NPO. This lands you your two neutral SCs, with the second fleet either challenging USA for a third (Mex) or getting ready to strike out west or north against another target.

United States
Previous records: Eliminated, 1908 (WD1); Survived, 1 SC (WD2)

The USA is perhaps the strongest of the three North American countries, at least to start…yet the potential to crash and burn is there as well. You can take away Midwest from WNA without breaking a sweat, but you do have to be wary of not gaining Mexico, your own second neutral SC, if he acts aggressively towards you instead. You and Canada share the Atlantic Ocean, and NWAO in particular will be a hotspot, as you each have two home SCs bordering it. However, he can also be a huge pest to you on land if he wants to be – his army in Que has no specific chore in the first year (NWT and Newfoundland are going for SCs) and a move to New England or Ontario could really put you in a tight spot.

An alliance with WNA would allow you two to profit off Canada, as you two batter at him from either side and wear him down. However, the way Canada is positioned probably means WNA will gain more quickly, leaving you a bit stalemated if you’re not careful. An alliance with Canada would tear about WNA, especially if you blitz him early, but then you have to deal with two countries sharing NWAO at their backs, which could cause quite a bit of tension.

Mid-game expansion is essential, in getting off your somewhat isolated continent. Colombia, Ghana, and Europe all present tempting targets, but the Atlantic Ocean is going to be crowded. WNA could help you with Colombia, while Canada could help with Europe; but chances are you’ll need new allies across the pond if you want any chance of gaining dominance of the seas over the others. If you do, great, expand somewhere – if you don’t, you may be forced to stab your North American ally to keep growing, or else face stagnation.

There are a couple variations on a standard USA opening. Flo-GoM is recommended in order to grab Mex, but make sure to have a DMZ of NWAO with Canada first. One of your armies should take GtL too, as a second neutral SC; depending on who is your ally/enemy, you’ll have to decide which one. DSo-GtL is more anti-Canadian, while Uni-GtL is more anti-WNA.

Previous records: Survived, 4 SCs (WD1); Survived, 3 SCs (WD2)

Canada has the potential to be strong or weak – it’s up to you to lead it to one or the other. Canada is a bit more spread out than the other two NA powers; you have to decide whether to focus on the Arctic, the Atlantic, or a land campaign, but you won’t have the resources right away for all three. If you can avoid an attack from your neighbours, you could grow strong enough to really influence all your surrounding regions; but if you fall behind even a bit, you could find it difficult to truly break out later on.

An alliance with WNA against USA would ultimately give you control of the NW Atlantic region, but it could potentially place WNA as slightly stronger than you – he’d probably have more armies than you, as you’d need to focus some builds on fleets whereas he would not (they are useless against USA); and your back would be wide open to his own idle fleets which could quickly travel through Alaska and into the Arctic. An alliance with USA could tear WNA apart quickly and potentially give you greater gains (you can sail into the Pacific, whereas the USA could not) but the tension caused by bordering the Atlantic with him might be difficult to handle; USA would also end up more army-heavy than you, as fleets will also be useless to him in attacking WNA; this could make a stab by USA on you tempting.

However, if you survive the early political wrangling, all this having-less-armies-but-more-fleets thing will prove beneficial to mid-game expansion. If you can dominate the Arctic, all of northern Eurasia is open to you (and you place yourself in a “corner” of the map, with no one at your back); you can also fight over the Atlantic, or even try to filter into the Pacific. All three oceans will feature heavy competition, however, so you’ll need to grow quickly to keep up. Find an alliance quickly – you can’t afford to play “wait-and-see.”

A typical Canadian opening would probably be New-LAB (in order to grab Godthab – make sure to assert to Europe and Russia that it is yours, not theirs), and NWT-Man. Que could be used to pester USA; or it can instead be used to grab Man (via Ont or NWT) in order to leave NWT to harry WNA from Alberta or Yukon. You have the ability to blitz either neighbour and get away with it…it may be worthwhile to consider doing so.

Previous records: Did Not Exist (WD1); Eliminated, 1911 (WD2)

Colombia is a country with a lot of potential. There’s potential to grow strong – access to two oceans and two continents could provide lots of room for growth – but also potential for failure – stuck in a small space between several hungry countries could make you a tempting early meal. There’s even potential for middling growth – with South America being a bit crowded, it’s easy to reach a respectable size then stalemate and go nowhere. If you want to succeed, you have to balance your diplomacy and strategy very well.

Immediate concerns are Brazil and Argentina, your continental neighbours. Both could prove immediate pests. Brazil will no doubt take Brasilia and Recife, both neutral SCs that put him facing a direction towards you (Brasilia even borders a home SC). Argentina meanwhile could easily bounce you from Galapagos. However, you can do likewise to them – you can force Brazil to tie up his units in supporting Brasilia by having two armies threatening it in the first year; and a move to Peru can put pressure on Argentina via Bolivia and Chile. An alliance with Argentina against Brazil would start slow – your fleet is on the wrong side, and he only has one army to help with at first – but the resulting division would lend you a favourable share of SCs, and would also allow cooperation in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans both. An alliance with Brazil against Argentina could cripple Argentina quickly, although you will probably end up with a smaller share of SCs; also, this arrangement basically concedes the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil, forcing you to focus on the Pacific – this could be good in a tight alliance, but it would disadvantage you if you wish to stab or if he wishes to stab you.

Your mid-game will probably involve some conflict with a North American power (or two) – it is thus important you finish up your early game wars quickly. You could also strike against them first – and indeed, where else might you expand to if not North America? Africa, Australia, and Antarctica are all somewhat far away, and your South American ally (should you have one) could be in the way of one or two of them. However, striking into North America is difficult, due to a low space for manoeuvrability. You’ll need help from somewhere else, no doubt, so keep talking around the board. Mid-game expansion is the bane of many nations in World Dip, especially in the Americas – don’t stall, or else you could fall behind the rest of the map.

A standard opening might see Ecu-NEPO in order to secure Galapagos (or, if you’re feeling aggressive, you could challenge for Mexico; however, USA and perhaps WNA will be going for it as well, so this may not be advisable.) Either Col or Ven should take Ama as well; the other is then free to strike quickly at a neighbour, should you choose to do so. (A blitz on Brazil is likely to fail; it could do much against Argentina, however.)

Previous records: Eliminated, 1905 (WD1); Survived, 3 SCs (WD2)

Brazil is perhaps in a bit of a defensible corner, at least for the early game. Behind him is the Atlantic Ocean, and a nation like Ghana would not be ready to cross it just yet, buying Brazil time to deal with his neighbours. However, later in the game Brazil will probably be faced with several important decisions, as it is drawn out of its corner. It won’t have the resources to fully focus on both the south Atlantic and the north Atlantic, and may have to choose one and hope for a steady ally to protect his back in the other. Expansion over to Africa or elsewhere must also be considered.

As Brazil, you could ally with Colombia against Argentina, thereby splitting the continent east-west and probably grabbing the bigger share of SCs; however, Colombia would probably have quicker growth, as Argentina’s geography leans towards a better defensive position against Brazil. This also leaves you in charge of the Atlantic, forcing Colombia out – at first glance a good thing, but without a sure ally to assist you, you’re left to straddle the north and south Atlantic Oceans alone, with competition that can focus on just one or the other region; this could strain your resources. Allying with Argentina against Colombia would at least give you an ally in the southern Atlantic, and should also see you again land the larger portion of SCs to be gained; however, once again you will face slow growth against Colombia, as the small nature of the continent gives him the ability to stalemate you effectively, at least for a good while. You would have to strike quickly, and use your advantage of having a fleet in the Atlantic before he does to ensure quicker success.

The mid-game could prove a worrying point for Brazil. Although you would now be stronger, you face a choice – north or south Atlantic? You would not have the resources to manage both, especially against heavy competition in both regions, but if you leave one less defended you could find an enemy on your shores. You have to consider mid-game expansion to other continents as well – where would it be? Africa seems closest, but if Ghana is a strong power you would face a very difficult time getting past his own navy. The South Africa/Antarctica region is another option, but if either country is prospering then he will surely have a larger navy than you. North America plausible, probably assuming Colombia is out of the way, but may be more difficult to grab a foothold in unless WNA and Canada are distracting USA and leaving his back open. Options are there, you just have to read the board and select the right one.

Brazil probably has one of the more standard openings – Sal-Rec (or WAO first to bounce Argentina and then Rec), BHo-Bra, and Rio S BHo-Bra (unless you trust Colombia and/or want to target Argentina, then Rio-Sao).

Previous records: Eliminated, 1906 (WD1); Eliminated, 1910 (WD2)

Argentina is a high risk/high reward country in the early going of a game. Both Colombia and Brazil have the power to make your life hell simply by owning two armies to your one (which can not even reach Bolivia in a single turn, giving them a chance to secure their own neutral SC and then bounce you from yours!). In addition to them, you also have to face with other immediate concerns in the Anarctic region, as South Africa is much closer than it may appear. However, the flipside of this is that you could influence the outcomes of two regions of the map, and expansion beyond your starting continent is much easier for you than for basically every other country in the Americas. If you can survive the first couple of years, that is.

An alliance with Colombia against Brazil may not give you many SCs, and it could potentially leave Colombia in a stronger position than you overall, but it would divide the continent nicely and leave you in control of your portion of the Atlantic. An alliance with Brazil against Colombia would give you a bit higher potential for more gains, and secure dominance of the southeastern Pacific region, but would also leave Brazil around to challenge you for control of the southern Atlantic (although on the flip side, this could instead prove beneficial if South Africa is your enemy – two against one is better than going at it alone.) In all, neither alliance seems particularly beneficial to Argentina; but your trump card is that both Colombia and Brazil truly need you to deal with the other one – a war between them has high potential to stalemate quickly due to limited space, leaving you the one to attack from the side and profit first. You’re essential to their plans against each other – so make sure they have plans against each other, and not against you.

Mid-game expansion will probably come via the Antarctic region. South Africa will be either a best friend or a thorn in your side immediately, so this process probably could start before you’re even done with your early game wars on the continent. You could even start it first by making a gambit for BAT; this is very anti-South African, so make sure he is indeed your enemy, and you have a friend elsewhere to help you out. (It also leaves you potentially weak against Brazil and Colombia, so make sure you also have a true friend among them as well.) Beyond Antarctica, there are also Africa and Australia that you could expand to. Africa naturally follows if South Africa is your enemy. Australia is a bit far away, so you’ll definitely need help from Antarctica or someone else. You’ll probably end up a naval power, however, so expansion should not prove to be a huge problem like it is with your South American neighbours.

Standard opening would probably be SCr-Men in order to grab Bol, as well as Bue-WAO (to bounce Brazil) or Bue-Uru, to grab that SC immediately. Your fleet in Chile has more options – you could go to EAO and challenge Colombia for Galapagos, or even go to Peru for a bigger challenge to Ecuador; or you could go to SEPO or perhaps SWAO to make a bid for BAT. Going to SWAO would also threaten San, and also put pressure on Brazil’s naval defenses as well. Your fleet in Chile could give you an aggressive opening one way or another, so choose its order wisely.

Previous records: Eliminated, 1912 (WD1); Eliminated, 1909 (WD2)

Australia is a unique country in several ways. First of all, it starts with three fleets, and no armies. Secondly, it occupies an island continent all by itself. Thirdly, it ends up with essentially one mortal enemy, in Antarctica. All these factors must be accepted and dealt with to give Australia a fighting chance in the game. Some may thus view Australia as weak, but others may argue it instead becomes strong for its uniqueness. Certainly its naval power will be one of the strongest on the board; however, its isolation and thus the problem of obtaining suitable mid-game expansion somewhere is more a problem for Australia than perhaps any other country.

Immediately, the biggest concern when determining alliance structure for Australia becomes Antarctica. Asia and South America are too far away at first, leaving Antarctica the closest neighbour Australia has. However, attacking Antarctica outright in order to escape your corner may not prove the best idea. Early expansion will be slower if you befriend Antarctica and move elsewhere, but it could perhaps prove more beneficial in the long run. A war with Antarctica could be long and bloody – even obtaining the help of, say, South Africa could easily only result in South Africa profiting, and you ending up with minimal gains and a very strong new enemy in South Africa. However, if you want to find your fortune in Asia or South America instead, you need Antarctica to be your absolute best friend – if you’re unsure of him, you’ll be forced to defend yourself a bit, leaving some resources behind that could prove essential in your overseas expansion. Antarctica is going to be either your worst enemy or your best friend, nothing in between. All other relationships come secondary to this one.

Essentially, early-game expansion and mid-game expansion are one in the same, especially if you befriend Antarctica. The challenge you’ll face is securing a colony somewhere off your own, small island. Aside from nearby Antarctica, which has already been discussed, this leaves you with basically Asia or South America, or maybe Africa. You’ll probably be forced to focus on either the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean, not both due to lack of resources early on; the Indian is more crowded, but with more potential for gains, while the Pacific is the opposite. You could attack India or China perhaps more easily than other potential targets, but if they are allied you’ll be in for a tough time. If they’re not, then quickly determine the best choice to attack, grab a foothold on the continent, and do whatever you can to make sure the other two Asian powers don’t try to knock you off it. If heading for South America, you’ll need an ally of Colombia, South Africa, or perhaps even Brazil to lend a hand so you can land some armies. It’s farther away, but perhaps easier to grab a hold onto and keep it, providing you have the right allies. Africa is also an option, but a lesser one – crossing the crowded Indian Ocean will be difficult, and would require several key allies to ensure safe passage of any armies being convoyed over. In any route, your biggest challenge will be securing a safe outpost and expanding from there – if you get knocked off the continent, you’ll face a very tough time getting a foothold back; and if you don’t have one somewhere, good luck staying competitive as the game wears on. This is Australia’s biggest challenge of the game, and you must find a way around it.

Australia has a couple openings, but all follow the same theme – grabbing Indonesia and New Zealand as your two early neutral gains. If you wish to bounce Antarctica in SEIO, either Vic or WAu will do, leaving the other to go for one neutral, and Queensland to head for the other one. Or, if you have peace with Antarctica, you could afford to send fleets to NEIO and/or PAC, giving you an early lead for expansion elsewhere. China could potentially challenge you for Indonesia, but you could also potentially challenge him (and India) for Thailand, so choose your opening orders carefully.

Previous records: Eliminated, 1912 (WD1); Eliminated, 1905 (WD2)

With fate bonded to Australia (see above), Antarctica also has to deal with a hungry South Africa at his back. Stuck on the southern “corner” of the map, Antarctica must find a way to break out of his continent and move northwards as early as possible. Australia and South Africa both present best-friend-or-mortal-enemy options, and you’ll probably be forced to pick one to target, as your other options are very limited. However, you also have to deal with the fact that they are too far away to attack each other, and so may look to gang up on you. You’ll have to convince at least one not to, and meanwhile talk to Argentina or someone else about getting involved on your behalf. Your early options are fairly limited, but if you can talk and fight your way out of your corner, you have high potential of becoming a very strong midgame force.

Alliance options are, as mentioned, limited. Your two neighbours are Australia and South Africa. However, neither one probably feels compelled to attack the other one, so your job is perhaps more to turn them away from you than against each other. Befriending Australia allows you to attack South Africa (hopefully with Argentinean or even Kenyan help) while Australia is free to expand to Asia or South America. Allying with South Africa gives you leeway to attack Australia, while South Africa can then focus on Argentina or someone instead. In both instances, it is again not so much about finding a third player in your triangle to work together against, but instead to have each other’s back as you go in different directions. Antarctica is perhaps a bit unique in this, so you’ll have to adapt your diplomacy to suit the country’s needs – give your neighbours another direction to take or enemy to fight, so you may have your own freedom of movement. Don’t neglect Argentina either – he may be involved in South America, but he’ll have a hand in influencing the southern waters too, and could be your best friend for his proximity to South Africa and to a lesser extent Australia.

Mid-game expansion has several options. South America, Africa, and Australia/Southern Asia all present possibilities (depending on your choice of early-game ally, of course), but you probably won’t have the resources to focus on more than one at a time. Depending on who is still alive and kicking (Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, India, etc) your decision will probably be made for you. The Indian Ocean is probably going to be very crowded, so you may wish to stick to the southern tips of continents and work your way up. It may be tempting to stab your early game ally as well, to truly rule the southern waters, but be careful at becoming friendless – World Dip is a game of alliances, much more so than the original game of Diplomacy.

Standard opening orders would probably be Cas-SEIO (to bounce Australia; otherwise Cas-Vos), Vos-NwD (and then probably to SPo, but if you’re blitzing South Africa you do border both BAT and San from here), and Maw-Sho (unless bouncing South Africa in SWIO). Antarctica can afford to take a year to wait and see, but acting quickly may be in your best interests instead.

South Africa
Previous records: Draw, 14 SCs (WD1); Draw, 22 SCs (SC leader) (WD2)

South Africa suffers from split identity – it may seem like an African nation at first glance, but that home SC stuck on Antarctica also drags the country into southern affairs as well. In fact, it is perhaps a southern quadrangle country first and foremost, and only an African country secondarily. As South Africa, you’ll have a hand in the affairs of Africa, Antarctica, and South America all, but you have to be careful to balance your influence carefully – having your home SCs split up could weaken you considerably in the first couple years if you aren’t careful. South Africa can become a very strong country if it survives the early years.

Alliances can come in many shapes and sizes. Antarctica will probably be after you or Australia, so make sure to turn him towards Australia instead; an alliance with him could prove profitable, as you two could also combat Argentina and secure the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans together. An alliance with Australia would probably focus on Antarctica, again with the same benefit of controlling the Indian Ocean together later on. An alliance with Argentina could see action against Brazil, and perhaps a pincher against Australia as well. An alliance with both Antarctica and Argentina could really take out Australia, but be wary of being blocked out of many gains. An alliance with Argentina and Australia would give you several gains off of Antarctica, and create a triple that could sweep north together. Regardless of how things turn out, your future will revolve around the alliance structure of the south – even if you want to focus on Africa, these three may not let you, because they will be focused on you. This is why Africa comes second – Kenya will focus on his other neighbours first, but your other neighbours will focus on you first. An alliance with at least one of these four neighbours is essential, and DMZs with one or two others would be crucial as well. If you get ganged up on, you’re toast, so don’t stop talking and don’t be afraid to set up multiple alliances and DMZs, even if it limits you at first.

Mid-game expansion is at least not as big a problem as other countries. You have Africa to work your way up, as well as Antarctica, South America, and even Australia or Asia all nearby. It will depend on the circumstances of the board, but at least one or two should be open to your expansion. Don’t be afraid to work around your allies if they’re a bit in your way. You should be able to keep growing at a steady pace – the challenge for South Africa is more making it out of the early game intact.

Opening moves for South Africa could be Nam-Bot (going to Ang or Zam would be for blitzing Kenya), SAf-Moz (unless you must bounce Antarctica in SWIO), and San-BAT (unless bouncing Argentina in SWAO). You have higher potential for a 3 SC 1901 gain than perhaps any other country, so you may not want to risk blitzing anyone straight out. (On the other hand, this may instead make it safe to do so, knowing you have other neutral SCs nearby to pick up later.) Careful not to grow too fast and make yourself a target, however.

Previous records: Eliminated, 1914 (WD1); Eliminated, 1902 (WD2)

Kenya is another one of those countries with high risk of early failure, but high potential for great strength. Your neighbours are Libya and Ghana, with whom you form a triangle; however, South Africa also has the ability to be a pain in your ass. Hopefully he will be focused south (make sure he is!) and a DMZ with him is essential for your early survival. Then it is a matter of focusing on Ghana and Libya, coming out on top, and going from there. Stuck in the middle of Africa, you have a high risk of early failure, much like Austria in the original game of Diplomacy; however, also like Austria, if you can grow to a certain size quickly enough, you can become very powerful.

Assuming you don’t have to deal with South Africa, this leaves Ghana and Libya. Allying with Ghana against Libya splits the continent nicely between you, with a roughly even split of SCs; however, Ghana will probably come out on top, unless you can convince someone from across the Atlantic to harry his back – otherwise he will have more resources to concentrate on you afterwards if he so wishes, while you’ll have to be building fleets to stake a claim in the crowded Indian Ocean at the same time as keeping your army count equal to his. In the short run, it’s a good alliance for you; in the long run, it could favour him. On the other hand, an alliance with Libya against Ghana is the opposite. In the short term, Libya will profit far more from Ghanan SCs, as you’re stuck trying to work your way through the very small space of Nga and Cam, leaving Libya to easily pound through the rest of Ghana’s border and grab the bigger share of SCs. However, in the long run, you hold a more defensible position against Libya, you’ll probably hold the edge in naval power along the east coast of Africa, and Libya will have Middle East and Europe at his back that he may have to deal with. You can clog up the middle of Africa with a couple armies easily, thus freeing yourself to deal with the Indian Ocean theatre, or perhaps South Africa instead.

Mid-game expansion will no doubt involve the Indian Ocean in some way. Many nations border it, and it will be a bloody war to gain control – you should be talking to all of them, and finding new allies across the water so you can team up. South Africa may also prove a continued thorn in your side; however, by now you should be strong enough to deal with him if you must, although it lessens your impact on the Indian Ocean if you do focus south. Middle East is also a potential option, presuming Libya is out of the way; but space is limited to manoeuvre, so it could prove difficult. It could easily be a long, stagnated war to gain dominance of the Indian Ocean, but you must if you want to expand outward later in the game.

Opening moves will probably follow the pattern of Zai-Con, Ken-Uga (perhaps bouncing Libya in Eth first), and Tan-Moz (although South Africa can support himself in in the fall, so don’t be too aggressive) or Tan-NWIO in order to stake an early claim to the Indian Ocean. Grab your neutral SCs and find an ally quickly. (And keep South Africa off your back!)

Previous records: Draw, 18 SCs (WD1); Draw, 14 SCs (WD2)

Ghana’s strength is that it is in as much a corner as anyone on the map – no one will be crossing the Atlantic yet, so you can focus solely on your African neighbours – but its weakness in the early going is the high risk of not taking your neutral gains. Libya and Kenya both hold leverage over you in this regard, as they can bounce you and keep you from taking both Mor and Cam. You will probably end up with at least one anyway, but only because you’d send your third unit to support one in. If you come out on top in the alliance structure, you have the ability to become a very powerful country, perhaps the strongest of any African nation; however, this may instead compel Libya and Kenya to put aside their differences and see you weakened early, if they fear falling second fiddle to you.

An alliance with Libya against Kenya would see Libya end up with larger gains, while you work your way through a small space in Nga/Cam to chip at Kenya’s side; attacking Kenya is difficult. You could benefit in the long run, however, as Libya will have several nations at his back, while you should find it easier to keep your area of the Atlantic Ocean clear of enemy fleets as you work your way up into the Mediterranean or down the African coast. An alliance with Kenya against Libya would split the shares equally, and keep you both also fairly equal in strength, although depending again on the status of your protected back versus his you may end up with the slight advantage. However, this is not certain – if he succeeds in other endeavours, he could very well grow faster than you instead, as your own prospects at further growth aren’t spectacular.

Mid-game expansion may be a problem for Ghana, or it may not be. Sailing across to South America seems like a fair option, but the Atlantic will be crowded, and if Brazil is at all strong enough to hold you off, he will, fairly easily. If not South America, perhaps south along the African coast towards South Africa, while his back is turned to focus on someone else; or north against Europe, in an alliance with Middle East or Russia or someone. North America is also a viable option, although like South America the Atlantic crossing will prove difficult if the USA (or Colombia, or even Canada) is strong enough to also stake a claim. Stabbing your African ally from the early game may seem a tempting option due to your limited possibilities elsewhere; but as stated above, be careful not to become friendless, as World Dip is a game of alliances.

Opening moves will probably see Gha-Cam and Gui-Mau, in order to grab a pair of neutral SCs. Mal may have to go to Nig or Alg if you fear trouble from Libya; but these are aggressive moves, so don’t piss him off needlessly.

Previous records: Eliminated, 1903 (WD1); Draw, 13 SCs (WD2)

Libya has the ability to make life hell for any of its neighbours; however, Ghana and Kenya will find it difficult to attack each other due to geography (Nga/Cam is the only corridor between them), and so may instead decide to team up on you despite your best efforts. You have to be aggressive and pick a target early, making sure to rope someone along as your ally. You also have to deal with the Middle East at your back – you two are the only two nations to have home SCs border each other. Europe will also challenge you for the Mediterranean – in short, you have plenty of diplomacy to get to, so don’t hesitate and sit back or you could find yourself ganged up on by several nations.

Middle East should prove no problem if you’re both intelligent, as you each have other worries to concern yourselves with; plus, attacking each other is difficult, as you bottleneck in Egypt/Saudi Arabia. Peace is the smartest option, so make sure he recognizes that. He and Europe may be enemies, so use your influence on the Mediterranean as leverage. As for your more immediate concerns…an alliance with Kenya against Ghana benefits you far more, as he finds it difficult to attack Ghana while you would gain immensely. He may not want to go for it, but as long as you make some concessions and don’t get too greedy yourself, you might be able to forge an alliance. In the long run, it could benefit both of you anyway, as you could go back-to-back as you deal with other neighbours in the mid-game; you’d also be able to help each other in the Indian Ocean. An alliance with Ghana against Kenya also gives Ghana the challenge of the difficulty of attacking Kenya, but again, as long as you be a good ally, you can both profit for it in the long run – you can split the continent in half and work against Europe or even South Africa together afterwards. You’ll have to do a lot of talking one way or another, and you’ll have to present yourself as a very suitable ally in order to win them over.

Mid-game expansion is at least not difficult, providing you’re strong enough after the early game. You have all of Africa, plus Asia and Europe nearby to expand to. Middle East might get in your way if you two are good friends (as you probably should be) but you can work around him. You may not be able to have a big influence on the Indian Ocean affairs, but you should still be able to impact the outcome. You could even make it out to the Atlantic. Plenty of options for you, so read the board and choose wisely.

Opening moves should be fairly standard, unless you plan to pester Ghana or Kenya right away with a blitz. Lib-Cha, NSu-Eth for your neutral SCs, and Egy can then have a say in Mediterranean affairs – both Europe and/or Middle East may want it, so you can curry favour here. Or they may offer it to you instead; who knows – but keep talking to find out.

Middle East
Previous records: Eliminated, 1910 (WD1); Draw, 14 SCs (WD2)

At the crossroads to three continents, you are in the centre of all the action. And yet, at the same time, you’ll probably find yourself more focused on European affairs, with Europe and Russia. Libya is too concerned with African events, and India will be looking east into Asia; plus, attacking either one would be difficult. Russia, on the other hand, is only a stone’s throw to the north; and Europe is thus instantly tangled up as well, due to his relationship with Russia – plus, you’ll be dealing with him over the Mediterranean anyway, and if you grab it you can easily convoy armies to all kinds of places near him. Attacking either one seems difficult at first, but may actually be simpler than trying to get past the Egyptian bottleneck of Libya or the vast wastelands of Asia between you and India.

Libya should be your best friend, or at least a very good one. Attacking him is not wise – even if you land Egypt, getting past that will be difficult as it does not exactly cripple him – and could only lead to a more powerful Ghana/Kenya alliance kicking you off the continent later anyway. Afghanistan is India’s SC to take, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as leverage. Allying with Europe and attacking Russia is doable, although you have to find a way around the Armenian bottleneck first – try going for the Black Sea, or sneaking through the Balkans or through Kazakhstan. Europe may gain more from it, but he’ll find it difficult to stab you due to geography giving you a defensible position against him. You will, however, have to deal with Pacific Russia as well no doubt, especially if you’re heading to far north or east. Attacking Europe with Russia revolves around gaining the Mediterranean – if you do, and can hold it, you can convoy to Spain, France, Italy, or Austria-Hungary, and get behind his lines. Russia may gain an extra SC than you, but you should be in better position to stab him than vice versa, so he hopefully won’t try anything.

Mid-game expansion will leave you plenty of options. India is not a good early-game target, but a very possible mid-game one; Africa may be calling your name as well (and holding the Med will give you convoy abilities with which to surround Libya as well); you could even have your say in Indian Ocean affairs, or sail out into the Atlantic. Be careful to always have a friend, however – being stuck in the middle of three continents, you are the last country who wants to end up fighting alone while surrounded by hungry neighbours also looking for their next meal.

Opening moves will probably be fairly standard. Syr-Tur, Irq-Irn, and then you can support yourself into Arm in the fall (make sure to assert to Russia that it’s yours – he has Ukr and WSi and Sca to go after instead). Sau (nc) then can have a say in Mediterranean affairs. (Or, to blitz Russia, it could go to Syr, then Tur in the fall in order to get into the Black Sea; Tur would take Arm, leaving Irn to go to Kaz. To blitz Europe, take the Med with probably Libyan help, then convoy an army to Fra or Ita or somewhere open.)

Previous records: Eliminated, 1905 (WD1); Eliminated, 1905 (WD2)

History suggests Europe is perhaps one of the weaker countries on the map. It is certainly one of the smallest, with little room to manoeuvre. And its early game consists mostly of dealing with Russia, one way or another. With Europe, if you do not get a quick start, you’ll fall behind and possibly never recover. You do not need to become the biggest country, but you have to keep yourself competitive to make it to the mid-game. Your dealings will mostly be with Russia, and the Middle East and even Libya, although don’t neglect Canada or Ghana either. You can influence events in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Mediterranean regions, but you’re a country who needs a good friend to continue to survive and prosper.

Europe forms an odd triangle with Russia and Middle East. The main relationship here is between you and Russia, however. Do you fight, or ally? If you fight, you both risk falling behind; if you ally, perhaps you could do some damage together instead. Neither of you are particularly strong countries to begin with, so it may be best to work together instead. If you attack Russia, Middle East will be a good ally, as you can assail him from two sides. Pacific Russia may help out, but he’ll probably be involved in Eastern Asian affairs instead. You and Middle East will split the gains roughly even, and stabs on the other would be difficult – you could, however, effectively work together against northern Africa instead. Attacking Middle East will be a bit difficult, and grabbing the Mediterranean is a must. But with Russian help, you could profit immensely, and end up strong enough to take on Libya or Ghana on your own, now that you control that whole region of the world. You and Russia could then also work together on securing the Arctic region. Allying with ME seems more sound strategically, as you can take out your common neighbour and each grow well; but allying with Russia, while slow going at first, could hold great long-term gains if you continue to work together. There’s also Canada to deal with, but odds are both of you will want peace at first to deal with affairs on your separate continents.

In terms of the mid-game, you have lots of options. You can control events in the Arctic, Atlantic, and the Mediterranean regions, and you have options to expand to North America, Africa, or even further inland Asia. Ghana, Libya, and Canada are all nearby targets; if you focus on the Arctic, you could even attack Pacific Russia, while controlling the Atlantic gives you access to USA and ultimately South America as well. Lots of options for you – your challenge is to make it out of the early game alive and relatively strong.

Opening moves will have Fra involved in the Med (but make sure to take Ita by the fall), while Bri-NTH/NWG can support Ger-Sca if Russia is bouncing you; if he’s not, your fleet could even try for Godthab or Morocco instead, or sneak around to help your Med campaign, or try to get in Russia’s backdoor in BAR. Lots of options, but only if you can grab Sca with Ger without support – if you can’t, then you should safely support yourself in. (Russia may go for it, but its your best chance at a second neutral gain in 1901, so assert your right to it. Russia has other options.) Again, you don’t want to start small – grab that second build at all costs.

Previous records: Eliminated, 1903 (WD1); Draw, 12 SCs (WD2)

Russia, despite bordering 4 neutral SCs to begin with, is not necessarily a strong country. Probably only two of those SCs will end up Russian, and you have to deal with Europe looking to break out somewhere, Middle East at your doorstep as well, Pacific Russia challenging for control of northern Asia, and three or more capable navies battling it out with you for the Arctic Ocean. You have to work hard to stay competitive and keep others off your back.

Peace with Pacific Russia is very preferable. You should only attack him if you’re certain of Europe and Middle East leaving you alone; fortunately, he has other concerns as well, in China and India, so peace shouldn’t be unachievable. Tension may still crop up, however. This leaves you with Europe – who is small and looking to break out (and you’re his best option) – and Middle East – who’s finding himself neglected by his other neighbours (Libya and India) and looking for an enemy. You have to turn them against each other and pick a side, ‘lest they turn against you. If you ally with Middle East, you can juggernaut Europe fairly effectively if you try. He HAS to grab the Med, but if he does then he has Europe’s nuts in a vice. You can sail around the north and push through the middle to complete the assault. You should get a few good pickups, and maybe ME can then help you push into Asia, against PR and/or India. This also eliminates one piece of competition for the Arctic region. If you ally with Europe against Middle East, the going may be slow at first, and the gains seemingly minimal, but it would also allow long-term benefits – cooperation in the Arctic for one (two working together are stronger than you battling for control alone), or going back-to-back as you push into Asia and he into Africa or North America.

Mid-game expansion will probably not feature a stab against your ally, as you, like both Europe and Russia, very much need a solid friend to continuing prospering in the game. You still have to deal with Asia and the Arctic, and having someone protecting your back is almost essential. You could bulk up your army and try to push across the large middle ground of Asia, attacking PR or whoever took his place in Siberia. Or you could focus on controlling the Arctic, and perhaps attempt a landing in North America. Middle East would be a big help for the first option; Europe would be a big help for the latter one. If the cards fall into place (the right ally for the right attack against a weak enemy) you could become very powerful in the north; but if they don’t, your uphill battle will continue well into the mid-game. You may never be a truly weak country, but for most of the game you probably won’t be a truly strong one either, without a bit of luck. Just work on staying a respectable size and making it to the end-game.

Opening orders will usually see Bel-Ukr, and either StP or Mos-WSi for your second build. StP could also bounce Europe in Sca, although he can take it with support in the fall; or you may want to keep it ready to support WSi if Pacific Russia tries to grab it from you. Armenia is probably Middle East’s, and you can’t support yourself there if he attacks with support in the fall unless you sacrifice the Ukr build. Despite bordering 4 neutrals, your options are fairly limited – grab Ukr and WSi while you can, and leave Sca to Europe and Arm to ME.

Pacific Russia
Previous records: Draw, 28 SCs (SC leader) (WD1); Eliminated, 1907 (WD2)

Pacific Russia is perhaps in a bit of a corner to start with, but that won’t last long, and there are still several neighbours to deal with. China and India are your more immediate concerns, but your relationship with Russia definitely needs to be worked out too. Peace my be preferable, so you can each focus on your own affairs, but tension could easily crop up over the Siberian regions. China and India form a triangle with you, although it is a bit uneven (perhaps in your favour), and they shall have to be dealt with immediately. You can have a say in Arctic affairs as well as Asian ones, and perhaps even influence Pacific events or ultimately North American ones as well.

Assuming peace with Russia, you’ll focus on China and India. Especially China, actually. Due to geography, you and India are fairly far apart, so attacking each other seems pointless. So why not gang up on China instead? Lots of SCs to be had there. If you do ally with India against China, you should get an equal split of the spoils, plus you can filter your fleets around Kamchatka and begin influencing Pacific events while India is still focused on Indian Ocean ones. You corner off part of Asia as your domain, and you can begin focusing elsewhere. However, afterwards, India could prove a poor ally, as he’ll be dealing with plenty of other countries around the Indian Ocean, and will be focused south, leaving you to go at a new target (Russia or WNA probably) alone. Allying with China seems a poor choice strategically, as you have to stretch far south to attack India, plus it blocks China off from mainland Asia and leaves you to push west alone. However, China could become a very powerful Pacific force, and if you have his friendship that can only benefit you. You two could attack North America together, and he may even be able to lend a hand in helping you gain complete control of the Arctic. If he is grateful for you not ganging up on him with India, you could have a very powerful friend.

Mid-game expansion may come at the expense of stabbing your early ally to gain control of half of Asia; or you could strike west against Russia instead, although if he sees you coming stalemate could quickly ensue. You could also focus on your Arctic (or possibly Pacific) endeavours, and land some armies in North America. Not too many options, but they are at least relatively safe, easy ones – providing, of course, your targeted country is not already stronger than you.

Opening moves will probably see Yak (nc)-ESi and Irk-Vla to grab builds. Mon then has to decide what to do – bounce China in IMo? Bounce India in WCh? Head to Omsk to challenge Russia for WSi? Sit tight and see how things play out? All viable options.

Previous records: Draw, 19 SCs (WD1); Eliminated, 1908 (WD2)

India, like Pacific Russia, may also view China as the most sensible attack option, due to the reasons of geography discussed above (in the PR section). However, India is also going to play an integral role in Indian Ocean affairs, and will have to take that into consideration. He may be forced to enter mid-game politics before his neighbours do, so he’ll want to finish up his early attacks quickly if he wants to get a jump on influencing the Indian Ocean region. He also has to keep a wary eye on Middle East, just in case. India has the potential to become very strong, but to do so he has to emerge from the opening years unscathed.

The option of allying with PR to attack China again seems a sensible option, as there is a bounty of SCs to be had and attacking PR just makes little sense tactically. However, you’ll be focused on the south soon enough as well, whereas PR may have the leisure to focus on you if he so chooses. And if he gets his fleets around and into the Pacific, he could grab a larger share of the SCs than you. You’ll have to be careful in handling him if you ally with him. Allying with China against PR stretches your armies north, and risks cutting China off from the rest of Asia and blocking him in; but China could prove a very valuable ally in the long run, as he will also end up a strong naval power, and together you two could truly dominate the Pacific and Indian Oceans. And if Australia comes to Asia looking for expansion, you may need China’s help to fend him off. Basically, just like PR, China could prove a very valuable long term ally, if you don’t mind sacrificing short term gains and positioning.

Mid-game expansion can come from anywhere: Asia (via stabbing your initial ally), Middle East, Kenya (or even other parts of Africa), Australia, and even Antarctica if you can make it down there. There are tons of options – your challenge is being able to control events in the Indian Ocean and giving yourself pathways to further expansion. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck at home while others assail your shores. So be aggressive in your naval policies, and grab an edge in any way possible. If you do, you’ll find yourself a force to be reckoned with.

Opening moves will focus, like everyone else, on grabbing neutrals. Del-Pak or WCh will land you Afg hopefully, but be wary of PR bouncing you in WCh. (Make sure Middle East understands Afg is yours, too.) Cal-Ban lands you another SC, but Cal-Bur is a bit more aggressive towards China, if that’s your plan. Bom-BoB could give you a say in Tha, but China will be going for it too probably, so a bounce there may be expected. If you’re going to attack PR, doing it quickly might be advisable; Del-WCh and Cal-Qin has potential for doing damage, although probably at the expense of one of your neutral SCs.

Previous records: Eliminated, 1904 (WD1); Eliminated, 1911 (WD2)

China is pretty disadvantages to start the game, due to Pacific Russia and India being a tad far away to attack each other and thus leaving poor China as their best target. But if you can survive, you can become a very powerful force. To work past this inherit weakness, you’re going to have to convince one or both of them that letting you live is beneficial, as you’d make a very valuable ally in the mid-game and beyond. You can become a very powerful naval force if allowed to grow, and if you combine your strength with either India’s or Pacific Russia’s, you and your partner would make a nigh-unstoppable armada. You and PR could surround North America from two sides and tear it apart, or you and India could rule the Pacific and Indian Oceans together, pushing aside Australia and any other navy that stands in your way. You make a tempting early target, but you’d also make a very valuable mid-game friend – do whatever it takes to convince at least one of your neighbours that the latter benefits outweigh the former ones.

If you ally either with Pacific Russia against India or India against Pacific Russia, the end result would be them blocking you off from Asia. Either way you’ll get a roughly equal share of the spoils, and either way you can then use your builds to become a naval power. As mentioned, an alliance with PR could dominate the northern Pacific as well as the Arctic, and give you both an edge in invading North America. With India, you two could control the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans, pushing aside Australia and giving you two the edge against any other comers. With either PR or India, you could also offer to lend your armies to help in a campaign to sweep across the rest of Asia – this will involve some trust between you two as your armies intermingle, but if its there then you could also become a powerful land force as well as a naval one.

Mid-game expansion seems fairly obvious, then. North America and Australia are the best bets, unless you stab your early-game Asian ally. (They’d be forced to fight you all over the continent, weakening their backs to a stab from someone else; but if they don’t have that threat, they would be able to wear you down instead, as they do block you in on your little side of the map, and both have the power to send fleets around to combat yours. It could turn out very well for you, or end up in disaster. Make the call wisely.) Your expansion options outside Asia will be limited depending on who your ally is, but the Indian and Arctic Oceans also aren’t far away – maybe you could even make it South America eventually.

Opening moves will probably feature Sha-YEL to take Jpn, and then one of your armies can take Lan while the other could poke at one of your neighbours (Bei-IMo, or Gua-Vie.) If you want to try for Thailand as a third build, Gua-Vie would at least bounce India, while Sha-SCS would give you support, but also sacrifice Japan as a build.
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby raphtown » 05 Aug 2009, 06:52

Wowa, nice description and strategy guide! Sticky this maybe? Btw, I didn't bother to quote your post in this one.

EDIT: just realized that this was already semi-stickied
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby Waterice man » 05 Aug 2009, 18:27

Can I point out the potential power of a USA/Can/(PR) alliance against WNA - between them, they can keep all builds from WNA in the first year
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby Maidhc » 13 Aug 2009, 11:13

Waterice man wrote:Can I point out the potential power of a USA/Can/(PR) alliance against WNA - between them, they can keep all builds from WNA in the first year

Not quite true; WNA is guaranteed Alaska.

-What does your PR stand for?
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby Maidhc » 13 Aug 2009, 11:15

MR, thank you very much for your exhaustive and utterly-thorough report on all the countries, their histories and potential strategies. I'm sure I speak for all the players when I say it's greatly appreciated. Especially in your condition at the moment.
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby Grumpy » 14 Aug 2009, 01:27

I'm just wondering what an overview of each player would look like...
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby raphtown » 14 Aug 2009, 03:16

Raphtown: Canadian extraordinaire, well versed in the art of getting stabbed
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby Thungbard » 15 Aug 2009, 15:54

Maidhc wrote:
Waterice man wrote:Can I point out the potential power of a USA/Can/(PR) alliance against WNA - between them, they can keep all builds from WNA in the first year

Not quite true; WNA is guaranteed Alaska.

-What does your PR stand for?

I believe he was referring to Pacific Russia, sending Yakutsk up to the Arctic Ocean and then either supporting the Yukon to Alaska or vice versa, but even under that situation the WNA can guarantee Alaska if he brings his army to BC in the spring to support Alaska's Hold in the Fall, the only problem then is that it only leaves him with his California Fleet to protect 2 home supply centers if the US steps to the Mid West.

I'm not entirely sure why he thought it was so noteworthy though, since it's a 3 on 1, you can just about pick any country and if the 3 people surrounding him want to make things difficult it would result in something similar to the situation WNA would be in if US/CAN/PR allied against him.
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Re: Overview of each country

Postby AlphaTangoEcho » 22 Jan 2011, 19:45

some one should update the beginning post with WD3 and WD4
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