SOME COMMENTS ON THE REVIEWS
by Mark Nelson
"This file is a collection of reviews of diplomacy variants." I know this because that's what I wrote at the top of the file! However it is more accurate to say that this is a *random* collection of reviews.
One ideal form of this file would be a version which contained a review of every diplomacy variant every written. This is not possible. No-one would have time to read the rules for these variants and then comment on them. Another "ideal form" of this file would be if it contained reviews of the "Best Diplomacy Variants". The disadvantages of this approach are two-fold: Determining what the "best" variants are and then finding people to write reviews of them.
My eventual aim is to make the file as complete as possible. Ideally this file would be used by people who are thinking of ordering variants from a variant bank, or are thinking of running a variant. Such people would use this file to find out more about the variants that they are interested in before either purchasing them or running them. If you want to know what the "best" variants are look in the Appendix where you will find some commentary on that question.
The reviews in this file have mostly been taken from diplomacy fanzines. Different reviewers have different ideas on what constitutes "good variants" and so you should take all the comments with a pinch of salt. The ideal review tells you what the aim of the variant is, what changes there are between it and regular, if the game has been run postally, how the variant compares to other designs using similar ideas and if the variant is any good. Not many reviews meet this exacting standard!
Since this file is primarily distributed by email I have tried to ensure that the file contains reviews on all the games that are runnable through the Judge program.
HISTORY OF THIS FILE
VERSION 1.0 was compiled by Mark Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and proof-read by Harold Reynolds (email@example.com) and David Kovar (firstname.lastname@example.org). It was distributed to rec.games.diplomacy in May 1993. It contained reviews of 101 diplomacy variants.
VERSION 2.0 as compiled by Mark Nelson (email@example.com) and proof-read by Harold Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org). It was distributed to rec.games.diplomacy in January 1994. It contained reviews of 201 diplomacy variants.