Eternal Sunshine #119

December 2016

By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149

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Welcome to the latest issue of Eternal Sunshine, as we continue to run down to a fold.  See you in January!



XENOGOGIC : A Journal of dip&DIP
December, 2016
By Larry Peery

While most people think of “We Are the Champions” as the international anthem of sport, I’ve always thought the Freddie Mercury – David Bowie 1981 classic “Under Pressure” was a better choice for Dippers, particularly those who publish, editor and write the hobby’s media.

When I realized I had two days until the next ES deadline I knew I had to, in one Dipper’s favorite phrase, “Cut to the chase!” (Do you remember who used to say that all the time?) This issue of XENO is the catch from that chase. So the issue that I had originally planned as a look back at 2016 instead has become a look ahead to 2017. Is that being two-faced? If so, I should be doing it in January, right? But by the time January gets here I’ll probably be too sick to even think about the future.

So, here’s a look at some of the items current in the freezer, in the refer, on the stove, in the oven or even in the slow cooker waiting for the New Year to roll around.  Generally speaking the items at the top of the list are the newest ideas and those at the bottom are the ones that have been around a while. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the ones at the bottom are complete or almost complete and vice versa.

All of that will be explained in “A Year in the Life of a Hobby Old Fart Reduced to a Single Day,” or for short “Peeriblah Peerisonified.”  This topic was suggested by a hobby newbie who had the nerve to ask me “What exactly does a hobby Old Fart do?”  I’ll show him!!

“Yes, 17 Intelligence Agencies Really Did Say Russia Was Behind Hacking,” was suggested by an article I read somewhere recently that made its way to my Facebook page (Shameless Doug Kent-like plug here.) which looks at why Intelligence Agencies seem to lack the intelligence that intelligence agents seem to have. Eric Snowden is a good case in point, I think.

“Monopoly in London, anyone?” is a promo piece and sop for Toby Harris in the hopes that he’ll persuade Jean-Louis Delattre to let me have Belgium if I make it to WDC at Oxford next year. It’s also a comparison of the US and British approach to the game we all grew up playing on our way to building our own Trump Towers.

“Terry Tallman: Diplomacy’s Rasputin?” should give hobby old timers pause to think. Normally speaking or writing ill of the dead is considered bad form but among Rasputin’s historians it-s a no-brainer choice. Comparing Terry to Gregor may seem like a reach but the more you get to know about both of them, the more you’ll see the only difference was the opals they found on the bodies of the Romanovs when they dug them up.

“John Wooden as a Diplomacy Motivator.” Not a question, but a fact. Wooden could motivate anybody given an hour or two. Given a whole school year he could produce an NCAA champion. Do his ideas carry over to Diplomacy? Could Dippers from them? I think so and I’ll show you why I went to UCLA to visit his shrine and his daughter went to USC to play basketball.

“Gordon, Still and Mesny” is about three Englishmen who helped keep the “Rah, Rah, Rah for the King” in the Raj as the Queen/Empress and kings/raj soldiers, mercenaries, diplomats, explorers, etc. in The Empire that Merchant Ivory only dreamed of.  How they’d stack up as Dippers against the like of Tobby, Matt and what’s his name remains to be seen.

“The Russian Navy Grand Cruise of 2016” is unusual in that it is very much a work in progress, even though the Russian fleet has been sitting off the coast of Syria for weeks. It’s a fascinating look at the modern Russian Navy, especially when compared with the epic voyage of the Russian Baltic Fleet to Tsushima that took 18 months and ended in a half-hour sea battle that wiped out the Russian fleet. All of this (and there’s a lot to it since the preliminary manuscript is at 137 pages right now) came about because I was curious how many game seasons it would take to get from St.Petersburg n.c. to Syria. You’ll find out, I hope, before the Russian fleet gets home for Easter.

“Doomsday & Nuclear Codes” was an interesting subject, I thought, and one I designed a PMW game about in the 1970s. That effort got me an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pentagon and a warning to “Never do that again!” from an irate Navy captain who was well aware he was speaking to a very, very junior Air Force ROTCer.  But consider the changes coming to the Football’s possessor in January, it’s a very timely subject I think.

“Canada and China: a Study in dip&DIP” is another real life case study that makes a great object lesson for a Dipper; whether playing a Big Power or a one-center nobody. The lesson offered is simple and timeless, like one of Comrade Peng’s dresses: diplomacy and Diplomacy are both as much about how something is said as what is said.

“The Hundred Hours War” is my attempt to out Tolstoi Tolstoi. The manuscript is now approaching 1,000 pages. All that to cover what might happen in a war between the Koreas and their friends that just might break out by the time you read this. I project the war will be decided by the end of the first 100 hours. That might seem like a short time, but keep in mind that the Cold War would have ended in 33 minutes if it had got hot. Can diplomacy prevent such a war? What if Kim and Park sat down and played a game of Diplomacy and the winner got the whole peninsula for its very own black dot?

“The Space That Was and the Space That Wasn’t” is all about the role of Switzerland in dip&DIP. It was inspired by the efforts of  Hans-Christian Reichardt to find enough players to host a Diplomacy event in Switzerland, in Winter, with suits and ties required!  Check out his posts on the FB Diplomacy in Europe site and send him some encouragement. If not, a Toberlone bar or two will do. But seriously, the role of Switzerland in both diplomacy and Diplomacy gets more and more fascinating the more and more you think about it. I started with a “what if question” about that Impassable space on the board and eventually realized that the real country is a Dipper’s dream world.

“Monet and Mettel” brings together two of my favorite artists and two of their works: one worth $81 million and bought a few weeks ago by a telephone bidder who never saw it before buying it and the other worth, perhaps $30, if you’re lucky. Still, there are lessons to be learned for the Dipper here. You just have to dip your brush into the wet paint to reveal them.

Finally, “Onions and Diplomacy.” Yes, I’m serious. This article will make you cry and serves as a perfect dish for any post-con feed. The winner drinks Champagne, the losers eat crow, and everyone else chows down on onion soup. Sounds like a EDC in Paris from 1993, right Xavier?

That’s it. If you can’t find something on that list that appeals to you let me know and I’ll send you the peelings from my next batch of onions.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving and have a splendid Beethoven’s Birthday, and a blessed Christmas!


Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?

End-Game Comments


Dane Maslen: I think it's fair to say that I was surprised to win this game.  After rounds 1 and 2 I was mistakenly looking for a 19th century politician or military man in Asia.  Although after round 3 I realised that this had been wrong, I had little idea of what I should have been doing instead.  The round 4 report changed everything: I could rule out:


·        Quebec City because I hadn't received the clue.

·        Rio de Janeiro because the clue couldn't apply to all three people guessed in that location.

·        Hanoi because I had already been there in round 3 and not received the clue.

·        Bangkok because the clue couldn't fit the person there.


That left St John's as the most plausible location that at least two people could know was correct, though Manila and Dublin were in principle also possible as they had been guessed in both round 2 and round 3.  From the round 5 guesses it's apparent that just about everyone went through a similar process of elimination.


Based on the assumption that St John's was the location, it seemed that I was looking for a male (R3 clue) screenwriter (R4 clue) who died in the early 2000s (R3 clue) and had known Mickey Rooney (R1 clue).  I typed 'famous screenwriters' into Google and found myself looking at a set of photographs, one of which was captioned not only with the person's name but also '1906-2002'.  It was Billy Wilder, so I thought I might as well make him my guess, even though I couldn't quickly establish a connection to Mickey Rooney.  So, pure luck that I got the right screenwriter.


Rick Desper: I had no idea Billy Wilder lived that long!  If I had, I might have stumbled into that guess.  Let's go back to the beginning: I think I made my first guess on a day I saw a trailer for the Pete's Dragon remake.  That put me on Mickey Rooney (imagine if I'd guessed Helen Reddy instead!).  So what are the odds that the first wild guess would put me not only closest to the location, but also give me somebody who knew "Kendo" in real life?  So I tried to confuse the issue by putting my second guess in Ireland, but Richard and Mark both made guesses in eastern Canada, and one of them nailed the location.  I guessed wrong about which of the two, but by then my mucking about through the Golden Age of Hollywood probably made it clear that I was close.  Maybe I shouldn't have guessed Ava Gardner in turn 2?  I could have really committed to the path of deception a bit more. 

The combination of the clues from turns 3 and 4 made me think it was a director/writer, and somebody who knew Vincente Minnelli.  But Garland and Minelli died back in the 60s, so who could it be?  I was so proud to discover Robert Altman died at roughly the right time and had done a Mickey Rooney TV episode back in the early 60s.  It didn't feel like a great guess (what was his connection to Judy Garland's personal demons?) but I had nothing else.  And really, anybody who drank a lot could be said to have a connection to one of Judy Garland's personal demons.  I didn't know whether Altman drank a lot, but maybe he did? 


Jim Burgess: Doug, you are still by far the best person running Kendo, with the best choices and the best clues.  I hope you run another game, but you have not called for new games since you are going to the fold (which we all regret).  May I invite you at that point to do Kendo as a guest GM in TAP?  Think about it.


On this game in particular, I thought this was a great example of your great clues.  Yes, we all figured out it was St. John's (and really EVERYONE should have gotten that... I don't know where Mr. Galt's head was!), but then only ONE person grabbed the right person.  VERY cool!!!


And then Mark Firth, was he just tricking us out, or did he forget in the middle where we were, I think the former, it did fool us for a bit, but boy what a guess out of the blue to start, has that ever happened?  But still he didn't win.


Anyway, I always love your Kendo games and will miss them!!!  You're the best.



Game Openings

No openings at present.

Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Diplomacy, “Milk and Trash”, 2015A, F 09

Austria (Jack McHugh – jwmchughjr “of” A Ankara Hold, A Bohemia – Munich,

 F Eastern Mediterranean Supports F Apulia - Ionian Sea (*Void*), A Rumania Supports A Ukraine – Sevastopol,

 A Silesia Supports A Bohemia – Munich, A Smyrna Hold, A Trieste Supports A Tyrolia,

 A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia – Munich, A Ukraine - Sevastopol.

England (Mark Firth – mogcate “of” A Armenia Supports A Ukraine – Sevastopol,

 F Gulf of Lyon Supports F Tuscany - Tyrrhenian Sea, F Holland - Belgium (*Bounce*),

 F North Africa - Tunis (*Fails*), F North Sea - Belgium (*Bounce*), A Norway - St Petersburg (*Bounce*),

 F Tunis Supports F Tuscany - Tyrrhenian Sea, F Tuscany - Tyrrhenian Sea,

 F Western Mediterranean Supports F Tuscany - Tyrrhenian Sea.

Germany (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” F Baltic Sea Supports A Prussia,

 A Berlin Supports A Kiel - Munich (*Void*), A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*),

 F Gulf of Bothnia - St Petersburg(sc) (*Bounce*), A Kiel Supports A Kiel - Munich (*Impossible*),

 A Marseilles - Piedmont (*Fails*), A Munich - Tyrolia (*Dislodged*, retreat to Ruhr or OTB),

 A Piedmont - Tuscany (*Fails*), A Prussia Supports A Silesia - Warsaw (*Void*).

Italy (John Biehl – jerbil “of” F Apulia Supports A Venice,

 F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea - Ionian Sea, F Rome – Tuscany, F Tyrrhenian Sea - Ionian Sea,

 A Venice Supports F Rome - Tuscany.

Russia (Kevin Wilson – ckevinw “of” A Moscow - St Petersburg (*Bounce*),

 A Warsaw - Prussia (*Fails*).



Deadline for W 09/S 10 is December 27th at 7am my time


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            Ankara, Budapest, Constantinople, Munich, Rumania, Serbia, Sevastopol, Smyrna,

Trieste, Vienna=10, Build 1

England:          Brest, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Liverpool, London, Norway, Spain, Tunis=9, Even

Germany:         Belgium, Berlin, Kiel, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, St Petersburg, Sweden=8, Remove 1 or Even

Italy:                Bulgaria, Greece, Naples, Rome, Venice=5, Even

Russia:             Moscow, Warsaw=2, Even



JIM-BOB to KEVIN: Yeah, so are you going to do anything?  Why don't I just see if Jackie-cakes wants a center....


JIM-BOB to TURKEY: So had you wrote so much when you were IN the game....


JIM-BOB to DOUG: I won't let us be press-less especially since you are the kindest, caring person that no one believes you to be....


GM – Boob: Lies.


Black Press Gunboat, “Noah’s Titanic”, 2015Arb32, W 09/S 10


Austria: Retreat A Prussia - Silesia..Build A Vienna.. A Bohemia Supports A Munich,

 A Galicia - Warsaw (*Bounce*), A Munich Hold, A Silesia Supports A Warsaw - Prussia (*Disbanded*),

 A Trieste Supports A Tyrolia, A Tyrolia Supports A Munich, A Ukraine – Moscow, A Vienna - Galicia (*Fails*),

 A Warsaw - Prussia.

France: A Burgundy Supports A Marseilles, A Gascony Supports F Spain(sc), A Marseilles Supports F Spain(sc),

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports F Spain(sc), F Spain(sc) Supports A Marseilles.

Germany: Retreat A Munich - Kiel.. F Baltic Sea Supports A Berlin, A Belgium Supports A Ruhr,

 A Berlin Supports A Prussia – Silesia, F Clyde - Norwegian Sea, F English Channel - North Sea,

 A Kiel - Munich (*Fails*), F Liverpool - Irish Sea, A Livonia - Warsaw (*Bounce*), A Prussia – Silesia,

 A Ruhr Supports A Kiel – Munich, F St Petersburg(nc) Hold.

Italy: F Aegean Sea Hold, F Apulia - Ionian Sea, A Greece Hold, F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Piedmont,

 F North Africa Supports F Western Mediterranean, A Piedmont Supports A Venice, A Smyrna Hold,

 A Venice Supports A Piedmont, F Western Mediterranean Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean.


A/F/G/I Draw Proposal Fails

Now Proposed – A/F/G/I.  Please vote. NVR=No.

Deadline for F 10 will be December 27th at 7am My Time



Paris to Berlin: A Bel-Bur? Are you trying to throw this thing to Italy after all your caterwauling?


French Prez to Zee Pope: So Nice of you to help a brother into the Mid! Now, would you mind supporting me perpetually? Merci beaucoup!



By Almost Popular Demand


The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the "second most popular" answer. You score points based on the number of entries that match yours. For example, if the category is "Cats" and the responses were 7 for Persian, 3 for Calico and 1 for Siamese, everyone who said Persian would get 7 points, Calico 3 and the lone Siamese would score 1 point. However, the most popular answer in each category scores zero points!  The cumulative total over 10 rounds will determine the overall winner. Anyone may enter at any point, starting with an equivalent point total of the lowest cumulative score from the previous round. If a person misses a round, they'll receive the minimum score from the round added to their cumulative total. In each round you may specify one of your answers as your Joker answer.  Your score for this answer will be doubled.  In other words, if you apply your Joker to category 3 on a given turn, and 4 other people give the same answer as you, you get 10 points instead of 5.  Players who fail to submit a Joker for any specific turn will have their Joker automatically applied to the first category. And, if you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to.  The game will consist of 10 rounds, with the 10th round being worth double points.  A prize will be awarded to the winner.  Research is permitted, but cooperation or collusion between players is not!


Round 7 Categories

1.    A character on Seinfeld.

2.    Something you see in a courtroom.

3.    A defunct department store chain.

4.    An insect.

5.    A famous boxer (past or present).


Comments By Category


Seinfeld – Brendan Whyte “Tempted to say The Drake.”  Mark Firth “From a knowledge base pop of 1.”


Courtroom – Brendan Whyte “Justice?”  Mark Firth “Felt like saying guilt but that’s more a feeling.”


Insect – Dane Maslen “I’m hoping for ant or bee to be the top scorer.”


Boxer – Brendan Whyte “The Empress Dowager?”


Don Del Grande pulls the high score of 17 (out of a possible 21).  Current leader Andy Lischett and Brendan Whyte hit the bottom with a score of 3.


Round 8 Categories


1.    A character on The X-Files.

2.    A mode of public transportation.

3.    A song by Fleetwood Mac.

4.    A measure of weight.

5.    A food associated with Thanksgiving.


Deadline for Round 8 of By Almost Popular Demand is December 27th, 2016 at 7am my time.


General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  December 27th, 2016 at 7:00am my time.  Hope to See You Then!