Is it Thanksgiving again?

Turkish Strategy for Colonial Diplomacy

by Thomas Pasko

Last December, TAHGC released Colonial Diplomacy. This game uses similar game mechanics as Diplomacy and depicts an accurate, historical view of the Colonial Period. There are many topics of discussion possible for this game, but I will try to discuss the strategy for the player choosing Turkey.

In 1870, the year the game starts, Turkey has been placed between Russia and Britain. Both of these powers are stronger than Turkey, but both powers also span the length of the mapboard. Because of this DIPLOMACY is very important, especially at the start of the game. He should talk to both China & Japan and to Holland & France. If these countries are willing to attack his neighbors from the East, he doesn't have to be so timid during the diplomacy stages.

Because of the great dependence on diplomacy and the actions of others, some people have come up with an opening coined, "The Camp David Opening". The main goal for this opening is to keep peace in the Middle East, as well as give everyone involved the chance to collect neutral supply centers.

The opening is:

1870

Russia: F Ode-BS, A Mos-Bok

Turkey: F Con-Med, A Ang-Arm, F Bag-PG

England: F Aden-RS

1872

Russia: F BS-Rum, A Bok-Per

Turkey: F Med-Egy, A Arm-Tab, F PG-Shi

England: F RS-Sud

The idea behind this is that it maximizes the builds (six!) and lets all three powers see what develops. A conflict in Egypt costs England & Turkey equally and A Mos-Bak exposes Russian intentions, as well as costing her a build.

This opening should be coined, "The Ostrich Maneuver". It gives you time to grow, but it doesn't look into the future and doesn't give you many options after the first two turns are over. You are stuck with either an advance upon Russia and/or Britain. Those are your only two viable options. Sticking your head into the ground in Diplomacy will get you an early seat in front of the television every time.

To create an opening that really works Turkey has to work with one goal in mind, to obtain the rights to Persia because, Persia is the key to the East. Persia must be held for Turkey to be able to march his armies to the Eastern territories. He would march thru Afghanistan, right above Britain [Karachi & India] and below Russia [Boku & Tashkent].

If Turkey is not allowed to own Persia, he is forced to attack one of his neighbors. Why? Because he can't get to anyone else!

Turkey's first business should be to find out what plans the countries in the East have. This shouldn't be to hard, because the Far East will not view him as an enemy. If France & Holland have teamed together, Turkey can count on his southern route possibly being quite soft in a few years. If Britain isn't attacked by a united front any bargaining chip that Turkey has at the start, even if it is a small one, disappears. Britain has a possible "6" builds from the start and if he's working with France and/or Holland, he'll probably get them.

The biggest variable with deciding Turkish strategy, is the Russian player. The mapboard has enough supply centers in the West that I've seen Russia retreat from the Eastern Sea-board, hit the West hard, and then reclaim the East. If Russia is going to be attacked in the East, then the bargaining chip that Turkey has against him has to be used. Claim Persia, offer Rumania in exchange. State Bak "DMZ". This will alleviate the bottleneck, and give you room to grow. Russia, shouldn't mind giving up Persia, since he will be able to concentrate his forces in the East. Don't be fooled to see his armies go East, they could be in your lap before you know it. The Trans-Siberian Railroad is the main reason why Russia & Turkey don't normally function well together. Turkey knows that Russia can be at her door at any moment & Russia knows it to. It's a loaded gun and someone's always going to try and pull that trigger first.

Initially, it's not in Turkey's best interests to strike out at anybody, unless Russia is sitting in Bak. Even then, whine, bitch, & moan. Maybe you'll get some form of reaction. Nothing Britain does in the first couple of turns, could make it beneficial for you to strike him.

There are two variations to the Camp David Opening.

Number 1 - The Camp David Sea Maneuver:

1870

Russia: F Ode H, A Mos-Bok

Turkey: F Con-Med, A Ang-Arm, F Bag-PG

England: F Aden-RS, F Bom-Ara.S

1872

Russia: F Ode-Rum, A Bok-Tas

Turkey: F Med-Egy, A Arm-Tab, F PG-Per

England: F RS-Sud, F Ara.S-Kar

Number 2 - The Camp David Land Maneuver:

1870

Russia: F Ode H, A Mos-Bok

Turkey: F Con-Med, A Ang-Arm, F Bag-PG

England: F Aden-RS, F Bom-Ara.S

1872

Russia: F Ode-Rum, A Bok-Tas

Turkey: F Med-Egy, A Arm-Tab, F PG-Shi

England: F Ara.S-Kar, F RS-Sud

1874

Turkey: A Tab-Per

For either of these openings, Turkey will have to work with his neighbors. If he chooses the Sea option, then all he has to worry about is Russia bouncing him out of Persia. If the Land option is chosen, then he can use either one of his neighbors to support his 1874 move if the need arises.

Both of these options will benefit Turkey's neighbors, actually each one benefits his neighbors in different ways. The main objective of this opening is for Turkey to be able to move his forces out into the board and still keep peaceful relations with his neighbors.

Since these Camp David openings help relieve the pressure that can occur between Russia & Britain and Turkey, it's easy to see if any neighbors are interested in an initial conquest of Turkey's territories. Any neighbor that won't discuss these options, definitely has something up his sleeve.

The Camp David Openings, whether by Sea or by Land, is a formidable opening for the player drawing Turkey and is a foundation for lasting relationships with his neighbors.

Reprinted from Diplomacy World No.74


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